When it comes to taking care of their bodies, many Australians overlook eye care. While regular visits to the eye doctor are part of comprehensive eye care, there are other measures you should take at home to ensure you are taking the best care of your eyes. A big part of home eye care has to do with the foods you eat. If you're not getting the proper nutrition, your eye strength will begin to deteriorate. Other issues can occur as well.
Once people stop to consider how important eyes are to their everyday lives, they begin to take better care of their eyes. Unfortunately for most people, this realization occurs after they've already turned 50 or 60-years-old and their eyesight has begun to fail. Just like choosing to quit smoking, you can start working to take good care of your eyes at an earlier age.
Several vitamins and minerals that are important to eye health include vitamins E, A and C along with lutein, zinc, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these vitamins and minerals are easily found in foods and nutritional supplements.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant rich vitamin. It helps your body heal from injury and also does a part to prevent cataracts. There are tons of Vitamin E supplements on the market and you will find it in foods like sunflower seeds, olives, almonds, peanut butter and whole grain breads and cereals.
- One of the top sources of Vitamin A is carrots. It's called beta-carotene in this form. You can also get vitamin A in smaller doses from eggs, spinach, pumpkins, milk, liver and sweet potatoes.
- Most people know you can get vitamin C from oranges and other citrus fruits. However, it's also available in broccoli and spinach. Vitamin C is a wonderful tool to prevent aging in your eyes and throughout your body. It maintains your body’s connective tissues and boosts collagen. There is collagen in your cornea. Vitamin C works to reduce cataracts and age-related macular degeneration risk.
- Lutein is the ingredient that gives yellow veggies and fruits their bright hue. It protects your eyes from damaging UV rays. Lutein in your body declines as you age. It's important to add more with spinach, corn, yellow capsicum, kale or zucchini.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in the reduction of macular degeneration. Omega-3's also protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Salmon has a lot of Omega-3's along with flax, leafy green veggies, walnuts, sardines and tuna.
- Many experts recommend taking vitamin A and selenium together to prevent macular degeneration. You can find selenium in brown rice, crabs and most multi-vitamins.
- Zinc also reduces macular degeneration. You have to supplement your body with zinc as you age. Your body stops producing it. You will find zinc in yoghurt, eggs, baked beans, beef and oysters.
The Australian diet has become a concern for experts and government officials. They have focused on a campaign promoting physical activity. They've also rated foods using a star system. However, these efforts haven't produced measured results in obesity prevention.
Experts believe these basic efforts aren't enough. Nick Talley, Chair of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges, (CPMC) calls what's done so far, "bits and pieces." He feels an official plan or strategy is needed, "a multi-pronged approach to a difficult problem."
Eating well for eye health is much the same as eating to reverse or prevent obesity. Either way, now is always a good time to get healthy.
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