Applied Clinical Nutrition in Escondido
Nutrition and Healthy Vision
Did you know that as much as 25% of all nutrients you take into your body goes to supporting your visual system, including the nerves, blood vessels and parts of the brain that help to obtain and interpret the images that you see?
Proper nutrition, then, helps maintain the best vision and helps prevent potentially vision threatening eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as minor conditions, such as dry eye. Eating properly helps your body absorb vitamins and nutrients that play an essential part in eye and vision health.
What are the best foods to eat to protect your eyes?
Whole foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, are a great choice for ideal nutrition. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and brussels sprouts, as well as dark berries like blueberries and blackberries can protect against serious illnesses such as macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60.
Omega-3 fatty acids also play an important part in vision health, since it reduces inflammation throughout the body including in the blood vessels of the eyes, which can protect against diabetic retinopathy. Omega-3 can be obtained from salmon and tuna, as well as from flaxseeds.
Foods to Avoid
Also keep in mind that what you DON’T eat is sometimes as important as what you do eat. The body loses chromium and B vitamins as it attempts to process white sugar, meaning that sweet cakes and candies should be a rare treat. Medications, preservatives and caffeine all deplete vitamins and minerals that are important for healthy eyes and vision, so these things should be kept to a minimum as well.
If you are having difficulty eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, your eye doctor may recommend incorporating at least one fruit or vegetable smoothie per day into your overall diet, since nutrients tend to absorb more quickly and effectively into the body in a liquid form. Your doctor may also recommend vision supplements.