Just like all other organs in the body, eyes are heavily influenced by the things you eat. For example, several nutrients help support ocular health and help you see clearly and comfortably. On the other hand, many foods could put your sight in danger and cause you to require advanced care from an eye doctor. To eat your way toward better eye health, here are a few points to know about nutrition’s role in vision.
What Are the Best Nutrients for Your Eyes?
Vitamin A & Beta Carotene
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps protect the cornea and, in turn, prevents vision loss. Beta carotene, on the other hand, helps the body absorb vitamin A effectively. If you want to get the most out these components, consume produce known to contain both vitamin A and beta carotene, including sweet potatoes and carrots.
Most commonly found in nuts, vitamin E is another antioxidant that can help defend the eye against cell-damaging free radicals. More specifically, it is shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Eye doctors often recommend increased zinc intake for patients who are in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration. This mineral helps strengthen the retina — the part of the eye that focuses light and communicates signals to the optic nerve. Zinc is readily available in many foods, including whole grains and turkey.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids — healthy building blocks of fat found in fish — are known to alleviate dry eye, as well as protect against cataract formation. Not getting enough of this nutrient can also result in retinal damage and contribute to age-related macular degeneration.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
Eating too many processed sugars can increase your risk of diabetes — a condition that makes it difficult for your body to convert carbohydrates into energy. When uncontrolled diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, individuals face a higher risk of glaucoma and retinal damage. For this reason, people with diabetes should also maintain a strict examination schedule with a trusted eye doctor.
Although sodium is necessary to a degree, consuming more than 2,000 mg of the nutrient each day can result in high blood pressure, a problem that increases the risk of retinal damage. Excessive sodium intake is also associated with cataract development.
While eating healthy foods can prevent many ocular health problems, some conditions can develop without presenting noticeable symptoms. Schedule regular eye exams with a trusted professional, such as those at Comprehensive Eye Care in Washington, MO. Staffed by experienced eye doctors, this clinic uses advanced tools and techniques to diagnose, prevent, and treat several vision-related problems — including cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Visit this practice online or call (636) 390-3999 to to learn more about these services, schedule a vision exam, or sign up to be part of their clinical trials.