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Protect Your Eyes with Proper Diet and Nutrition | Long Island Eye Doctor

Dr. Joel Kestenbaum

There’s so much we can do to protect our eyes and vision.  Wearing protective eyewear when in eye hazardous areas or limiting our exposure to high intensity light is just a couple of ways.   If you maintain proper diet and nutrition, not only will you possibly lose weight and improve your health as a whole, but you will strengthen your vision and lower your risk of developing serious eye conditions and eye diseases.

In recent years, there have been many scientists working on ocular nutrition research.  Thanks to this research, we now know a few things that can help protect our eyes.  With just a few small adjustments to our daily diet, we can improve our visual health.  Many of these studies involve the affects of antioxidants on the eyes.  Certain antioxidants are known to improve various body organs and it is the antioxidant carotenoid, in particular, that is known to play a huge part in ocular nutrition.  Two of these antioxidants are actually undergoing further testing to see their role in the prevention of eye cataracts.

Aside from the antioxidant carotenoid, you should also make sure that you are getting plenty of Vitamins A, B, C and E in addition to zinc, beta-carotene and selenium, as all of these are excellent for your ocular health.  As of this writing, the most important antioxidants that help the eyes are Lutein, Zeazanthin and Meso-zeazanthin found in green leafy vegetables.  Here are some changes to make to your diet if you are interested in protecting your eyes and reducing your probability of developing eye diseases:

  • Increase the amount of green leafy veggies that you consume – especially those high in carotenoids. This would include spinach, collard greens and kale.
  • Increase the intake of orange veggies and fruits that are packed with Vitamin A.  This would include yellow squash, pumpkins, mangoes, sweet potatoes and papaya.
  • Consume plenty of Vitamin-B rich whole grains including, but not limited to, wheat germ and cereals.
  • Consume plenty of fruits and veggies that are known to be high in Vitamin C including potatoes, citrus fruits and tomatoes. It is also okay to consume citrus fruit juice.
  • Have a piece of fish, salmon or tuna occasionally, as fish contains zinc and several other helpful nutrients in the prevention of eye disease.
  • Limit the amount of sugar that is consumed including soft drinks.  While it would be better to eliminate these from your diet altogether, going cold turkey can be difficult, so limiting what you consume is better than nothing. This will help with much more than just your vision health.
  • You should also reduce your smoking or quit altogether, as this has been known to do damage to your eyesight causing cataracts, macular degeneration and optic nerve damage.

Keep in mind that a change in your diet has not been proven to cure any disease that you already have, but it has been shown that ocular nutrition can indeed reduce your risk of developing eye diseases.

For more information, you can contact us at Optix Family Eyecare Center in Plainview, Long Island.

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