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Published 20 October 2016


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Eat for your eyes

We all know that eating a balanced, healthy diet is good for us and there is a lot of information out there on what makes a healthy diet. Choosing the things that will be of particular benefit for a particular health problem can be difficult.

Here are some ideas of what to choose if you want to look after your eyes. The good news is that all these nutrients will benefit the rest of your body too!

Vitamin A

This will help your body make visual purple – essential for night vision.

Take it as a supplement, or find it in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes or butternut squash.

Selenium

Concentrated in the lens of your eye. Lower levels of selenium are found in lenses with cataracts.

Find it in Brazil nut and mushrooms or take it as a supplement.

Zinc

Especially high levels are present in the retina of the eyes.

Eat sesame or pumpkin seeds or use a supplement.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

These carotenoids are found in the retina of the eye and also in the lens and are found in particularly high concentrations in the macula of the retina which is responsible for central, high resolution vision.

Boost you levels of these antioxidants by eating lots of brightly coloured foods such as eggs, yellow peppers or corn. You can also eat lots of dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli or spinach.

Lycopene

This is another carotenoid antioxidant important for eye protection. It is a red pigment found in red fleshed fruits such as tomatoes or red grapefruit. Improve the absorption of this pigment by the body by taking a good quality olive oil at the same time.

Magnesium

Poor blood flow to the eyes has been linked to low levels of magnesium and this poor blood flow is a risk factor for glaucoma.

Increase your levels of magnesium by eating plenty of leafy green vegetables, nuts and wholegrains or by taking a supplement.