20.01.2016

A good diet "is great for the eyes"

A good diet "is great for the eyes"

The ageing process is something that nobody can combat, no matter how hard they try, but there are many ways in which individuals can help to slow down the process of ageing, including the deterioration of vision.

Many of these were recently highlighted by Jean Blacker from Herbafayre, writing for the Star, who noted that diet plays a huge role in maintaining eyesight, though many people are unaware of this simple fact.

She noted that free radical damage caused by factors such as light, smoke, pollution and the consumption of hydrogenated fats and alcohol all lead to poor eyesight, particularly as people get older.

The expert explained that the body is capable of making its own antioxidants to help "mop up" these issues, but is also dependent on natural antioxidants being absorbed through a person"s diet for additional protection.

Ms Blacker explained that two natural antioxidants which are especially important for eyesight are lutein and zeaxanthin, a high intake of which could contributed to reducing the risk of a person developing cataracts or age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

She elaborated: "Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in dark green leafy veggies such as spinach and kale – no surprise there, we all know that vegetables are good for us – but they are also found in marigolds, and in high concentrations, giving a whole new meaning to the term "flower power"."

The expert also told the newspaper that the problem for many people is that they do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, but noted that dietary supplements are available for those who do not have the time or money to include them in their diet.

Ms Blacker also advised that blackcurrants are a great source of antioxidants, as they are thrice as potent as blueberries.

She added: "Carrot juice and carrots contain vitamin A, which is linked to improved vision at night (so yes, carrots can help you to see in the dark) and zinc is especially important for the retina. Take one to two tablets daily with food."

Finally, the specialist recommended regular eye tests to maximise vision and spot any potential problems.

by Emily Tait


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