Our mothers told us that carrots were good for our eyes to get us to eat them. But although the carrot lobby has been unbelievably effective at marketing the virtues of carrots for generations, there are actually other foods which have been proven to improve visual acuity. Here’s a rundown of some of the best.
Top Foods To Improve Your Eyesight
Food #1: Spinach
Spinach isn’t actually in the same family of veggies as watercress, kale, and broccoli. It’s a very different kind of green, with its own individual properties. However, it does share some commonalities, namely, the high degree of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two chemicals work in concert to prevent macular degeneration and help to filter out some of the more harmful wavelengths in the UV spectrum. In a sense, spinach is a kind of sunscreen for the back of your eyes.
How much do you need to eat to benefit? Experts recommend about 100g (3.5 oz.), three times a week, cooked, steamed or raw.
Food #2: Almonds
Nuts have been shown to extend the lives of practically every population ever studied suggesting, that like beans, they pass along significant health benefits.
These benefits also apply to the eyes. Researchers have found that almonds contain a type of antioxidant which specifically helps protect the sensitive tissues that make up the retina from experiencing damage. This, in turn, helps to stave off long-term, sight-related conditions, like macular degeneration.
Food #3: Dark Berries
For years, ophthalmologists have suspected that the consumption of berries was related to healthier eyes. And that should come as no surprise. During the Second World War, the Allies fed bilberries to their pilots to improve their vision at night.
Since then, lab studies have shown that animals fed dark berries, rich in antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins, suffer less macular degeneration and are able to navigate mazes in limited light more efficiently.
Food #4: Oranges
Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C – as are many other plants, including leafy greens and amla, or Indian gooseberries. However, oranges are also one of the most delicious fruits, which is why they’re so often pushed for their nutritional benefits.
Studies have shown that humans consume far less vitamin C than we did during the majority of our evolution. In fact, scientists think that we got so much of the stuff from our diets that our bodies just gave up making it endogenously. Unlike other mammals, humans don’t have the capacity to make their own vitamin C, despite having the majority of the genes in our chromosomes to do so.
Studies have shown that people who consume more vitamin C have healthier eyes. It was thought that high vitamin C intake was just a marker for a healthier diet. But studies using supplemental vitamin C have since confirmed the vitamin’s independent benefit.
Scientists are now racing to find out why high doses of vitamin C prevent damage to the eyes. Many think that it comes down to the antioxidant capacity of the vitamin, which Linus Pauling thought would help him live forever.
How do you use nutrition to improve your health?
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