Sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March is National Nutrition Month®. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” and aims to educate people on the numerous benefits of eating healthy, maintaining physical activity and developing lifestyle habits. While a healthy diet and exercise program can help you lose weight, it is not just beneficial to your waistline. Because your eyes are complex organs that depend on healthy cells and numerous blood vessels, eating for eye health is important for your vision. Be sure to include these three tips when adopting a healthier lifestyle:
1. Increase Antioxidant Intake
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), antioxidants can help reduce the risk of developing a variety of visual impairments. Foods rich in Vitamins C and E work to create and maintain healthy cells, and there is evidence antioxidants such as these can help prevent glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Vitamin C is best found in fruits and vegetables while Vitamin E is found in nuts, sweet potatoes, and fortified cereals.
2. Eat your Greens
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are vital nutrients that protect the eye against blue light and act as antioxidants. The two nutrients, known as carotenoids, are the only ones that can found in high quantities in the retina. Leafy green vegetables and eggs are an excellent source of these two nutrients which can contribute to the prevention of cataracts and AMD.
3. Prevent Zinc Deficiency
Red meats, seafood, poultry, tofu, and black-eyed peas all contain a trace mineral called zinc. A lack of zinc, which plays a vital role in the delivery of Vitamin A to the retina to produce the pigment which protects the eye, can cause cloudy cataracts and affect night vision. Those at high risk for cataracts and AMD, or those already suffering some effects of AMD, can benefit from the appropriate of zinc intake.
Optos would like to remind you of the importance of regular comprehensive eye exams that include optomap®. Early detection is your best defense to protect your vision and understanding your risks can help you adjust your diet and lifestyle for better eye health.