Your eyes are by far the most sensitive organ in your body, and it requires the most sensitive care. When it comes to eye care, the glare of the summer sun or the heat are two things you need to protect your eyes from in this season. If you don’t, you could be dealing with a number of problems, such as dryness, conjunctivitis, burning sensation, itching or even dark circles. Constantly staring into a computer screen or a mobile phone also adds to eye strain and fatigue. You need to protect your eyes against allergies as well.
However, when it comes to eye care, there’s more to it than just munching on carrots. Include a few superfoods in your diet and you can save yourself from a number of ophthalmological diseases. Along with maintaining a healthy diet, you also need to go for eye checkups once a year. It becomes even more imperative if you have diabetes or certain ophthalmological conditions.
Regular eye check-ups aid in spotting problems in time, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma, and then remedial steps can be taken.
We spoke to Dr Minal Kaur, ophthalmologist at Lybrate, Delhi, and she told us about the right kind of foods which should be included in the diet for maintaining good eyesight. These are the five foods she spoke about:
Dark green leafy vegetables
These are rich in vitamin C and A, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All these are antioxidants which act like natural sunscreen for the eyes. They protect the eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays and diseases such as macular degeneration.
Oily fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid. Low levels of these essential oils predispose us to age-related macular degeneration and dry eye syndromes.
Citrus fruits like oranges
Oranges are rich in vitamin C and bioflavanoids which are essential components of the fluid and connective tissue in the eyes and play a major role in supporting the health of the blood vessels. It prevents the eye lens from oxidising and becoming cloudy. Increased intake of vitamin C also helps decrease the progression of cataract, healing of corneal infections as well as damage due to bleeding in the eye.
Dairy products contain vitamin A which protects the cornea. They are also rich in zinc, which helps in the delivery of vitamin A to the eyes from the liver. Zinc is an essential trace element affecting over 500 biochemical reactions which help in disease resistance. It is essential for night vision and preventing cataract and macular degeneration.
Eggs are perhaps one of the best foods for the eyes. Egg yolk contains vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc with a better bioavailability compared to green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A protects the cornea; lutein and zeaxanthin and helps in lowering the chances of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Zinc keeps the retina healthy and aids night vision.