Summertime makes eating healthy and fresh a little easier then other times of the year. We have put together a brief overview of some foods to avoid and some foods to include in your diet for healthier eyes not only this summer but year round.
Foods to avoid in diet
Processed meats that are high in saturated fat, including red meat and sausage, lend to high cholesterol resulting in plaque build up on the macular vessels of the eyes which restricts blood flow to the eyes. It is because of this that eating a lot of fatty meats may increase the risk of developing macular degeneration, a condition that affects the retina and leads to vision loss.
A recent study has shown that the vegetable, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats contained in junk food put those who consume them in immoderate quantities at a higher risk for eye diseases. In addition to these unhealthy fats, the abundance of salt and sugar contained in these foods affect the overall health of the body’s organs and circulatory system, inhibiting blood and oxygen flow to the eyes.
One of the biggest offenders for eye health is a sugar-laden diet. Consuming large quantities of sugar regularly raises your blood sugar, in turn leading to swelling in the lens of the eye, and distorting your vision. Lots of sugar in the diet could also lead to a person contracting diabetes, which can ultimately lead to leaky blood vessels in the eyes, eye hemorrhages and even permanent loss of vision.
Foods to include in diet
They're packed with lutein and zeaxanthin—antioxidants that studies have shown can lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Citrus and Berries
These fruits are not only great summer staples for every meal but they are also powerhouses of vitamin C, which has been shown to also reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Tuna, salmon, mackerel, anchovies and trout are rich in DHA, a fatty acid found in your retina—low levels of which have been linked to dry eye syndrome.
It’s a common thing to hear theta carrots and other orange colored fruits and vegetable promote health and protect vision, and it's true: Beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that gives these foods their orange hue, helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function smoothly.
Hopefully the next time you are deciding what to eat for a meal you remember your eyes and make decisions to keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp.