Superfoods are foods that are extremely good for the body because they have a particular nutrient that keeps organs healthy and increases their longevity. Because eyes are the most important and fragile sensory organs, it is vital to protect them and keep them healthy. These upper foods will help you maintain your eyesight for longer and keep your eyes healthy. Here are 10 superfoods for healthy eyes
Superfoods For Healthy Eyes
1. Leafy vegetables
Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, coriander, mustard leaves and turnip are excellent sources for nutrients required for healthy eyes. These leafy vegetables, particularly spinach contain high amounts of Vitamin A which protect the corneas.
All leafy vegetables also have lutein which is a chemical that protects the eyes from ultraviolet rays and improves eyesight. Xanthin and its derivatives present in these vegetables help in visual development. Ideally, leafy greens should be eaten raw or minimally cooked to retain the nutrients, and a spinach soup or salad is a tasty and easy option.
Kale is among the most nutrient vegetables among all leafy vegetables because of its combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene. The second comes microgreens that are produced from the seeds of vegetables and herbs. It measures approximately 1 to 3 inches. The third comes collard greens that are loose leaf greens, somehow related to kale and spring greens. The thick leave tastes little bitter, howvever, they are a good source of calcium and the vitamins A, B9 (folate) and C. Also, they are one of the best sources of vitamin K that can reduce blood clots and promote healthy bones.
Salmon is a super food and benefits, not just the eyes but also good for the healthy heart and immune system. It has Omega 3 fatty acids which help in preventing dry eyes and keeps eyesight at its prime. With age, the ocular muscles start to degenerate making way for age-related eyesight problems like hypermetropia. Salmon helps to prevent and slow down this degeneration thus prolonging the life of eye muscles. Other fish like sardines, mackerel, and tuna too have similar positive effects for healthy eyes.
One of the popular foods classified as oily fish. It is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D and hence considered as one of the best healthy foods for eyes. Salmon is also a source of cholesterol, however, according to the reports of journal Science farmed salmon may contain high levels of dioxins. Also, PCB levels may be upto eight times higher in farmed salmon than in wild salmon.
Carrots are well known to increase the health of eyes because they contain several beneficial compounds. Firstly, the beta-carotene present in carrots metabolizes into Vitamin-A when they enter the body and is good for the corneas. Another compound called lutein which is also present in spinach also helps to protect the retina and prevent damage due to long exposure to sunlight. Fibres are also present in this root which is overall good for the body. Potassium is also a compound essential to the good health of the eye and for the smooth functioning of the body.
The carrots contain a high amount of fibre and they are also an excellent source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is very important for eyesight along with skin health, and normal growth. Hence, it one of the most important healthy foods for the eyes. Also, it is considered a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium including calcium and magnesium as well. They have a high natural sugar content as compared to other vegetables except for beets.
Many berries have vitamin C which is an antioxidant important for healthy eyes. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of getting glaucoma, cataract and age-related loss of vision. Lutein, present in most superfood recommended for good eyes is also present in berries, especially in blueberries and raspberries. They also increase the circulation to eyes and improve night vision, thus preventing night blindness. Since berries are very easily available and can be mixed into breakfast or consumed as juices, this is one superfood everyone must have.
Berries are low in nutrients, howvever, they are extremely nutritious. Also, they are high in antioxidants and they also contain several vitamins and minerals. Berries help in reducing inflammation and decrease the risk of heart disease and other health problems. It is especially rich in vitamin C and manganese, howvever, low in calories. Berries contain fibre that helps to decrease appetite and increase feelings of fullness.
An egg is a superfood for the whole body. It has zeaxanthins and lutein for the eyes, which delay the adverse effects of ageing and prevents eyes from getting damaged due to the sun rays. It also has proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids that help in reducing the risk of glaucoma by controlling the pressure on the eyes. Most other superfoods also contain Vitamin A, but this compound alone is not as useful as it is when combined with zinc to synthesize melanin. Melanin is responsible for the colouration of the eye and protects the internal eye from damage.
Almonds are very healthy for the whole body because they contain anti-oxidants and Vitamin E. both of these compounds prevents loss of eyesight and help reduce the risk of conditions like glaucoma and age-related eyesight loss. It also has Omega 3 fatty acids which reduce the pressure on the eye and protects its health. It is recommended that five to six whole almonds be consumed every day. Unpeeled almonds are healthier than peeled almonds. It is also one of the healthy foods in the world.
Bright red tomatoes dot every supermarket shelf and this red colour is because of a very useful and healthy pigment called lycopene. It is a carotenoid similar to the ones found in carrots and has similar beneficial effects. They not only protect the eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays but also prevent muscular degeneration that causes deterioration of vision. Additionally, tomatoes also have vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which is very important for maintaining healthy eyes. Vitamin A protects the cornea while vitamin C reduces the risk of glaucoma and cataract.
8. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes may not look like a superfood, but they are packed with nutrients. They have a large amount of vitamin A along with beta-carotenes, fibres, and potassium. Together, these compounds help protect the cornea, reduce the risk of eye disorders like cataract and prevent dry eyes. By boosting immunity, they also prevent eyes from viral infections and keep them healthy. As culinary ingredients, sweet potatoes are very versatile and can be cooked in any way you like, mixing it with other ingredients and healthy foods.
Peppers come in a large number of colours and sizes and to best protect the eyes, it is recommended to eat all types and colours in moderation. Red, yellow and purple peppers contain pigments similar to carrots and tomatoes and make eyes healthy. They also contain vitamin B6, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and lycopene that reduce the risk of age-related vision loss and cataract. Peppers can also be cooked in a variety of ways and added to your regular diet. Peppers are also inexpensive and easily available, making them one of the most convenient and healthy option to incorporate in your diet.
Walnuts come loaded with Vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and zinc. These compounds help to keep the eyes healthy and prevent loss of vision. They also reduce the pressure on eyes and keep them protected from the sun. Apart from the eyes, the nutrients in walnuts are good for the brain and for the internal organs. Five to six whole walnuts a day are the recommended amount to be added to your food plan.
The next time you go to a supermarket, do remember to cut back on the junk food and pick up one of these healthy superfoods instead.