Last week we discussed certain vitamins which really work well in improving our eye health. This week we shall go through few more nutrients like minerals, flavanoids and micro nutrients that are potent antioxidants and also help in keeping your eyes healthy.
BETA-CAROTENE: When taken in combination with zinc and vitamins C and E, beta-carotene may reduce the progression of macular degeneration, also help decrease the risk of many eye diseases.
Food sources: Carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn, pumpkin, spinach, kale, butternut squash.
ZINC: Zinc is an important trace mineral that plays a pivotal role in transporting vitamin A fromthe liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is found in abundance in the eye, mostly in the retina and choroid which is the vascular tissue layer lying under the retina. It reduces our risk of night blindness and also plays an important role in reducing risk of advanced AMD. Also, it helps in protecting retina and prevents cataract.
Food sources: Oysters, lean meat, egg, crab, turkey, kidney beans, lentils.
BIOFLAVANOIDS (FLAVANOIDS): It protects against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Food sources: Green tea, red wine, citrus fruits, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, legumes, lentils, beans, soy products.
LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN: They are the antioxidants found in plants, that prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. They also reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases.
Food sources: Spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, squash, eggs.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: Fats are a necessary part of the human diet. They maintain the integrity of the nervous system, fuel cells and boost the immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be important for proper visual development and retinal function. They help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts. Also, they help control dry eye syndrome.
Food sources: Cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring; If you don‘t eat seafood, you can get omega-3s by using fish oil supplements or vegetarian options like walnuts, flaxseed or flaxseed oil.
SELENIUM: When combined with carotenoids, vitamins C and E, may reduce risk of advanced AMD. Food sources: Seafood (shrimp, crab, salmon, halibut), Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds
Try and include all of the above foods in your routine to keep your eyes strong. But make it a point to check with your doctor or health care provider as well, for nutrients customised to your needs and major
changes in your diet.
Chief Nutrition O cer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems.
The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.