Turkey is loved by many on Christmas day, but not only does it taste great, it also is packed full of zinc and vitamin B which can help lower your risk of cataracts. Zinc especially helps as it is found in the retina of the eye and helps enzymes function which are responsible for eye health. People with macular degeneration can often suffer with low levels of zinc in the retina so increasing foods which contains zinc can help.
Another food which many people eat around Christmas and the winter months is salmon. Salmon is a great source of omega 3 alongside other fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines. Omega 3 is very important for eye health as it helps with dry eyes and helps protect the blood vessels within the eye.
3. Winter Vegetables
Vegetables often eaten in winter months like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A and C, beta carotene, and lutein can be found in these winter veg and play a big part in eye health. Research has shown that vitamins A and C combined also with vitamin E can help lower the impact of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Beta carotene can also have this protective effect. Lutein is an antioxidant found in high levels in the tissue of the macular and absorbs about 40-90% of the blue light intensity entering the eyes. Some studies have shown that by eating foods with high levels of lutein can increase the pigment mass in the macula which in turn means better protection of the retina and a lower risk of macular degeneration.
These small dark red berries, often served with turkey, are another source of vitamins A and C which we know helps general eye health, but especially with cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Nuts are a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E helps to protect the eye’s cells from free radicals and may slow the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin E, when combined with vitamins A and C really do create an ACE trio in protecting the eyes.
Remember a good, healthy and varied diet is important for overall eye health. Supplements may be recommended by an eye doctor if you have certain eye diseases, but it is always best to check with them first before adding supplements or altering your diet for eye health.
Author: Samer Hamada is a distinguished consultant ophthalmologist and cornea surgeon performing eye surgeries at his practice, Eye Clinic London. With nearly two decades’ experience, Mr. Hamada is recognised as a leading expert in the field of cataract, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and corneal surgeries.
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