You want to keep your body healthy especially if you’re over 50. Eating a nutritious diet and exercising every day keeps you looking and feeling your best, and you’re ready to make your mark in the world.
One area that is often neglected is eye health. As you age, your eyesight may gradually decline, but diet and nutrition can play a key role in eye health and slow down vision deterioration.
Remember as a child how your parents nagged you to drink milk for strong bones and teeth? You may not have liked vegetables, but you were urged to eat our carrots for healthy eyesight.
Our eyes have a very important job for their size, and it would be wise for us to consider diet and nutrition as a major factor in keeping our eyes healthy. Your eyes have to last you a lifetime, and unlike liver and kidneys, you can’t get a transplant.
Keeping up with annual comprehensive eye exams and maintaining good control of other health conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, are only part of the equation for healthy eyes.
Here are five nutritious ways to maintain healthy eyes:
Being deficient in vitamin A can lead to dry eyes, night blindness, corneal ulcers and a host of other eye issues.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to include vitamin A in your diet. You can still have breakfast cereal, but read nutrition labels to see if the one you like is fortified with Vitamin A.
Eggs are a good source of Vitamin A, so you can have that breakfast omelet. Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? One baked sweet potato gives you more than 500% of the amount you need each day.
On the plant-based side, you can opt for leafy greens, carrots, grapefruit, and many others to get a good dose of beta carotene which the body will then turn into vitamin A.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Studies have shown there to be an abundance of omega-3 found in the retina so it’s thought to help maintain vision functions, or at least a part of them. We already know omega-3 is important for brain development, but new evidence is showing benefits with dry eye disease as well.
Maintaining healthy levels of Omega-3 may help diabetics reduce their risk for macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration may cause blurred vision and over time this can make it difficult to drive, read, or participate in your favorite activities.
The best source for omega-3 is oily, cold-water fish like salmon and herring. There are over-the-counter supplements with varying amounts of omega-3 to aid in getting the recommended 1,000 mg per day.
You can reduce your risk for cataracts by eating foods with Vitamin C. The best sources of vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables. Oranges, strawberries, and grapefruit are all good sources of Vitamin C. On the vegetable side, broccoli, kale, and mustard spinach, can be eaten alone or tossed into a salad.
Vitamin D may reduce your risk for macular degeneration, and the best source is natural sunlight. However, there have been so many warnings to stay out of the sun or you may get skin cancer, that you are afraid to be in the sun too long.
You don’t have to put on a bikini and lay by the pool all day, but you can get the Vitamin D benefits from as little as fifteen minutes a day, for three times a week.
Foods that are rich in vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, dairy products, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.
Check with your doctor to see if you need to take Vitamin D supplements.
Taking small steps to improve your diet, and keeping up with yearly eye appointments are the best options for keeping your eyes healthy. Try some of these tips and do some experimenting in the kitchen to modify favorite foods to suit your taste.