Food for healthy eyes
You have probably heard that carrots and other orange-coloured fruits and vegetables promote eye 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.
But eating your way to good eyesight isn’t only about beta-carotene. Though their connection to vision isn’t as well-known, several other vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy eyes. Make these foods a staple of your diet to keep your peepers in tip-top shape.
They are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin –- antioxidants that, studies show, lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. One large study showed that women, who had diets high in lutein, were 23 per cent less likely to develop cataracts than women whose diets were low in this nutrient. Not a big fan of kale? Not to worry! Other dark leafy green vegetables, like spinach, romaine lettuce, collards and turnip greens, also contain significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs are also a good source of these nutrients, as are broccoli, peas and corn.
The yolk is a prime source of lutein and zeaxanthin – plus zinc – which also helps reduce your macular degeneration risk, according to Paul Dougherty, MD, medical director of Dougherty Laser Vision in Los Angeles.
They are filled with vitamin E, which slows macular degeneration, research shows. One handful (an ounce) provides about half of your daily dose of E.
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, says Jimmy Lee, MD, director of refractive surgery at the Montefiore Medical Centre in New York City.
Oranges and all of their citrus cousins — grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons — are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that is critical to eye health. Scientists have found that your eyes need relatively high levels of vitamin C to function properly, and antioxidants can prevent or at least delay cataracts and AMD. Lots of other foods offer benefits similar to oranges, including peaches, red peppers, tomatoes and strawberries.
Legumes of all kinds, including black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lima beans and peanuts, contain zinc, an essential trace mineral found in high concentration in the eyes. Zinc may help protect your eyes from the damaging effects of light. Other foods high in zinc include oysters, lean red meat, poultry and fortified cereals.
There are lots of other great food choices to keep your eyes healthy. Among them, the one most people think of first: carrots. Carrots are high in beta-carotene, a nutrient that helps with night vision, as are other orange-coloured fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, apricots, and cantaloupe. Making them a part of a colourful diet can help you keep your eyes healthy.
Bell pepper gives you the most vitamin C per calorie. That’s good for the blood vessels in your eyes, and science suggests it could lower your risk of getting cataracts. It’s found in many vegetables and fruits, including bok choy, cauliflower, papayas and strawberries. Heat will break down vitamin C; so, go raw when you can. Brightly-coloured pepper also packs eye-friendly vitamins A and E.
Orange-coloured fruits and vegetables -- like sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, mangos, and apricots -- are high in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps with night vision and aids eyes’ ability to adjust to darkness. One sweet potato also has more than half the vitamin C you need in a day and a little vitamin E.
One of the key ingredients in preparing a perfect and delicious Nkwobi is potash and a Senior Research Scientist, at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Mr. Ochuko Erukainure, has said excessive consumption of potash would reduce sperm production and cause testicular injury. According to him, potash does this by suppressing steroidogenesis (a process by which sperm is formed) and alters the histology of the testicular tissues.