This week is National Eye Health Week. According to Vision Matters, the organisers of Eye Health Week, half of the 2 million cases of people suffering with sight loss in the UK, are avoidable.
A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough. During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected.
Key to maintaining healthy vision, are regular eye tests and a healthy diet. Yet, awareness of the link between diet and good eye health is low – a recent survey found 60% of people living in the UK had no idea that what they eat can affect the health of their eyes.
Here is our run down of top foods to eat to maintain healthy vision.
Top foods for maintaining healthy vision
- Cold water fish like cod, sardines and tuna are excellent sources of DHA, and Omega-3 fatty acids. These provide structural support to cell membranes and may be beneficial for dry eyes, and the maintenance of general eye health. Research has shown that eating just one portion of fish a week may reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – the UK’s leading cause of blindness – by up to 40%.2
- Blueberries and grapes contain anthocyanins, which may help improve night vision.
- Green leafy vegetables spinach or kale, for examples, are rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin may help prevent age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. These carotenoids may also reduce discomfort from glare and enhance visual contrast. Whilst these foods are rich in Lutein and Zexanthin, it is difficult to absorb as much as we need through diet alone. Vision+ from FutureYou contains Lutein and Zexanthin obtained from marigolds, one of nature greatest sources of these compounds. Additionally, Vision+ uses lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, as the delivery system - ensuring that you get more of the stuff delivered to exactly where your body needs it.
- Whole grains and avocados are rich in zinc and Vitamin B. Deficiency in complex B Vitamins may increase your risk of cataracts and retinopathy.
- Papaya is a good source of beta carotene which can help to prevent ‘free radical’ damage inside the eye.
- Eggs are rich in cysteine, sulphur, lecithin, amino acids and lutein. Sulphur may also help protect the lens of the eye from cataracts.
- Garlic, onions, shallots and capers are rich in sulphur, which is necessary for the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant required to help maintain healthy sight. Soy contains essential fatty acids, phytoestrogens, Vitamin E and natural anti- inflammatory agents.
Unfortunately today’s busy lifestyles mean many people miss out on essential nutrients provided by a healthy diet, so taking supplements can be really beneficial*.
If you'd like to download the nutritional advice leaflet from Vision Matters, the organisers of Eye Health week, you can do so here.
*Always consult your Optometrist or GP before taking supplements.