Eat well, feel well – it goes without saying. But when it comes to our eyesight, do you know which vitamins and nutrients can contribute to keep our eyes in tip top condition? 

While many eye problems will occur due to a variety of factors, such as age and genetics, what we consume in our diet is thought to help preserve our vision later in life. 

Our nourish readers are well versed in great taste when it comes to eating a delicious range of dishes. But to check that we’re getting the right nutrients and minerals for our peepers, we sought the advice of one of Norfolk’s leading eye-health experts, Dipple & Conway Opticians. 

Which vitamins are needed in our diets for better eye health? 
Vitamin C and E are important antioxidant nutrients, helping to prevent damage to our eyes caused by free radicals such as air pollution. Red and green peppers, broccoli, blackcurrants, and strawberries are packed with Vitamin A, while olive oil, nuts and seeds boost your Vitamin E. It’s far better to get these nutrients from whole foods, rather than a supplement. A more effective source and more enticing for your palette.

Observational studies have shown that the consumption of dietary Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids may reduce the risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration. Also, a dietary intake of antioxidants may reduce the risk of cataracts by protecting the crystalline lens from free radical damage.

which vegetables support healthy eyes?
Green leafy veg are beneficial for your eyes and kale is something we should all try and eat regularly. Kale is rich in two phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, that both support the health of our eyes and vision. It is thought that consuming enough of these nutrients can help to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts too.

Rich in Vitamin A, carrots are also good for your eyes – it’s not a myth! As are sweet potatoes and butternut squash, all containing beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A. 

and for those with a sweet tooth? 
Oranges are high in eye-friendly lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids which make up part of your macula and make for an excellent source of protective Vitamin C to boot. 

You can get lutein and zeaxanthin from a variety of foods, including several fruits. Blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are packed with eye friendly nutrients. A pavlova tumbling with berries would be a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while upping your superfood intake. 

which drinks should we be eyeing up?
Water is so important. If you become dehydrated, you might experience  sore or irritated eyes. Keep topped up with six to eight glasses a day if you can, more in the summer. 

Drinking too much alcohol can impact on our liver functions, reducing the levels of glutathione which is an efficient antioxidant that may help protect against common eye disease.

and finally, a top tip for eating well for our eyes?
Omega-3 helps our bodies to absorb fatty acids that provide structural support for cell membranes and can also help alleviate dry eyes, a condition which can be aggravated in the colder months. Eating oily fish or taking a mixed essential fatty acid supplement appears to help those with dry eye. Also, a diet rich in antioxidants should be emphasised. 

  • Dipple & Conway Opticians are renowned for their exceptional eye care and for taking lots of time and care to talk to their clients and understand their lifestyle. To book an appointment call 01603 626750 or go to their website: www.dippleconway.co.uk

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