The Health of the eyes is extremely important to have a good view and perform most of our daily tasks. However, with the passage of time and the inevitable aging, it is wearing out.
Eye health goes hand in hand with overall health, but there are some nutrients that are especially important for the eyes. These nutrients help maintain eye function, protect the eyes from harmful light and reduce the development of age-related degenerative eye diseases.
Know the 7 Best nutrients to maximize your eye health.
What are the most common eye diseases?
The risk of having an eye disease increases as we get older. Among the most common eye diseases are the following:
Cataracts : occur when the lens (the natural lens of the eye) becomes cloudy and cloudy, causing blurred vision and even loss of vision. It is typical of mature age.
Diabetic retinopathy : This condition develops when high levels of sugar in the blood damage the blood vessels of the retina. It is a complication of diabetes and one of the main causes of blindness.
Dry eye disease : a condition marked by insufficient lacrimal fluid that causes the eyes to dry, causing discomfort and possible visual problems.
Glaucoma : is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide along with diabetic retinopathy. It is asymptomatic and is characterized by increased pressure in the eye.
Macular degeneration: the macula is the central part of the retina. It occurs in older people who throughout their lives have been exposed to prolonged exposure to UV rays and consists of the deterioration of part of the retina.
The risk of developing these diseases depends on your age, genetics and lifestyle. However, sight health also depends a lot on food.
7 Nutrients to improve eye health
Vitamin A deficiency is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. This vitamin is essential for maintaining the cells of the eyes that are sensitive to light, also known as photoreceptors.
The vitamin A is the most important to improve eyesight and essential for night vision. The lack of this vitamin in our diet can cause dry eyes, ulcers in the corneas, decreased vision and even blindness.
Vitamin A is present in foods of animal origin such as eggs, liver and dairy products, but can also be obtained from plant foods, where it is in the form of beta-carotene, the carrot being the richest food in this nutrient. Others to limentos rich in beta carotene are spinach, asparagus and purslane.
2.Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are yellow carotenoid antioxidants known as macular pigments. It is believed that they play a very important role by acting as a natural sunblock and creating a filter for harmful light.
The retina is a layer of light-sensitive cells in the posterior wall of the eyeball. The macula is the central part of the retina and is responsible for fine and discriminative visual function. Both carotenoids are concentrated in the macula (central part of the retina).
Studies show that the intake of lutein and zeaxanthin a is proportional to their levels in the retina. On the other hand, other observational studies suggest that lutein and zeaxanthin may also reduce the risk of cataracts.
Since these carotenoids do not occur in our body, they must be obtained through foods such as spinach, cabbage, pumpkin, etc. The egg yolks, sweet corn and red grapes can also be high in lutein and zeaxanthin.
The Omega-3 fatty acids, long chain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are very beneficial for improving vision, since they help prevent the progressive macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and promote the formation of vitamin A from the carotenes.
DHA is found in high amounts in the retina, where it can help maintain eye function. A deficiency of DHA can impair vision, especially in children.
Different studies show that taking omega-3 supplements can benefit those with dry eye syndrome, thanks to the fact that omega-3 helps to modulate the inflammation of this disease, as well as preventing other eye diseases.
The foods to improve eyesight containing omega-3 are, especially, fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna. Other supplements that contain DHA can be cod liver oil, krill oil or fish oil.
Gamma-linolenic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid that is found in a diet of small amounts. Unlike many other omega-6 fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid appears to have anti-inflammatory properties.
A randomized controlled study gave a daily dose of evening primrose oil to women with dry eyes giving those 300 mg of gamma-linolenic acid. The study found that his symptoms improved over a period of six months.
The richest sources of gamma-linolenic acid are evening primrose oil and starflower oil. Some evidence suggests that evening primrose oil may reduce the symptoms of dry eye disease.
Our eyes require large amounts of antioxidants, even much more than other organs. Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant for healthy eyesight: it helps reduce the risk of suffering from eye diseases such as cataracts and its lack would cause progressive macular degeneration.
The concentration of vitamin C is higher in the aqueous humor of the eye than in any other body fluid. Aqueous humor is the fluid that fills the outer part of the eye and protects the lens, which is located behind the pupil and the iris, oxidative processes that can lead to its opacification.
The levels of vitamin C in the aqueous humor are directly proportional to your dietary intake. In other words, you can increase your concentration by taking supplements or eating foods rich in vitamin C , such as strawberries, papaya, kiwi, orange, mango and melon, and green leafy vegetables , such as broccoli, cabbage curly and red or green pepper.
Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble antioxidants that protect fatty acids against harmful oxidation. Because the retina is highly concentrated in fatty acids, adequate intake of vitamin E is important for optimal eye health.
Combined with lutein, v itamine E has been shown to delay the onset of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Low levels of this fatty acid cause damage to blood vessels that cause blindness.
Some studies suggest that consuming more than 7 mg of vitamin E per day can reduce the risk of age-related cataracts by 6%. However, other studies indicate that vitamin E supplements do not reduce or prevent the progression of cataracts.
Wheat germ is the main source of vitamin E to improve vision. Other foods that contain vitamin E are vegetable oils, almonds, peas, nuts, sunflower seeds, apple, plum, banana, avocado, melon, asparagus or tomatoes.
The eyes contain high levels of zinc, specifically in the retina, being a basic component of the eye’s antioxidant system.
Zinc also appears to be involved in the f ormation of visual pigments in the retina. For this reason, zinc deficiency can lead to night blindness.
Oysters are a great source of zinc, while other natural dietary sources abundant in zinc are meat, pumpkin seeds and peanuts.
An unbalanced diet can have serious consequences on eye health, as it increases the risk of developing serious diseases, such as cataracts or macular degeneration.
Foods rich in antioxidants and carotenoid pigments help preserve the health and proper functioning of the eyes. This also applies to certain degenerative eye diseases, so the nutrients listed above can help you improve your eye health.