It seems that people are needing glasses at younger and younger ages these days to be able to read or see properly. This is unfortunate as our eyesight should be robust and carry us into old age without the need for some sort of magnification to see what is going on or to read…..
Eyeglasses or contacts can be a nuisance, complicating your life and while for some they are necessary for others they can be avoided. If you have been using them for a while this article could have a few tips that can help you protect your eyesight naturally and if you don’t wear glasses yet the information could help save your vision for some time to come.
Take for example my mother – who wore glasses for reading from her mid 40′s onwards. At the time her diet was pretty poor with lots of processed carbohydrates and processed foods in general, her eyesight continued to deteriorate and she needed more and more powerful glasses as the years progressed. Not too long ago she embarked on a healthy eating plan, cutting out sugar and most othe rprocessed foods and started eating – More real food……
The result? She can now read most things without the need for eyeglasses, plus what surprised me is her eyes become noticeably more radiant and bright, looking far more alive than before. This was pretty amazing as she did not start eating better in order to improve her eyesight but rather to feel better and look better – The eye’s improvement was just a pleasant side effect of good eating possibly due to a decrease in inflammation…..
I wanted to write this article after I came across some research which directly correlates the link between sugar and eyesight.
Regular consuming a combination of protective nutrients and a low-glycemic-index, or “slow carb,” diet provided an AMD (Age Related Muscular Degeneration) protective effect.
So it seems to be a diet that contains the “Right” carbs that can help, plus a few Anti-oxidants and Vitamins….
The nutrients that were found to be most protective in combination with the low-glycemic-index diet were vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and the omega-3 fatty acids known as DHA and EPA.
So in my experience there are a few things that make sense and we can all do to protect our eyesight, and also prolong youthful vision……
1- Cut the Sugar
It is a simple one but so many people still have a regular consumption of insulin raising sugar in their diet. It is fine to have the occasional treat but the majority of the time it is best to cut out things like:
- Soft Drinks
- Processed Foods (most of which contain added sugar)
- Anything with HFCS
- Excessive Fruit Juice consumption
- Sweets and Desserts
Those are the main sources of sugary foods in todays diet. Sugar not only increases the likelihood of fat storage but it also increases inflammation in the body which is a likely cause of eye sight deterioration…..
2- Reduce Inflammation
You probably noticed that in the list of supplements above Omega 3 is mentioned. This is not because they have any magical effect on improving eyesight directly but rather that they decrease levels of inflammation in the body which work in turn to protect your eyesight. On top of taking fish oil there are several other things you can do to reduce inflammation in the body:
- Avoid Vegetable Oils (which contain too much Omega 6)
- Eat more fish
- Use Stress Management techniques
- Gentle Daily Exercise
All these things reduce inflammation in the body and can therefore slow the deterioration of your eyesight.
3- Diet Improvements
There are a few simple improvements in your diet worth trying if your eyesight is failing, basically by increasing your consumption of certain Anti-oxidants and Vitamins on a regular basis you can maintain healthy eyesight. Some of the key things to introduce is Vitamin C and Lutein which is a another natural anti-oxidant. Vitamin C is found in pretty much all fruit and vegetables with he best sources being Green Bell Peppers and Broccoli, in terms of fruit your best bets are strawberries and orangeswhich contain a significant amount….
Lutein is a very interesting anti-oxidant and has been shown to have a protective effect on the eye’s and positive action in terms of slowing ageing in general.
Research has suggested a minimum of 6-10 mg per day of lutein is necessary to realize lutein’s health benefits. One such benefit is lutein’s role in eye health, specifically its role in reducing the risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration
So how can you get hold of your 6-10mg of Lutein per day? The best sources seem to be green leafy vegetables – Things like Kale, Spinach, Broccoli and Turnip Greens, A single cup of Spinach or Kale can get you over 20mg of Lutein. So by simply eating a daily dose of spinach could be the trick to great eyesight into old age…….
You could also try a few supplements and it seems that a high quality anti-oxidant supplement may be able to help in terms of improving eyesight. Things like Vitamin E, Zinc and other Polyphenols are likely to have a protective effect on eyesight.
All in all though I feel we can get the anti-oxidant benefits through natural, food sources by including a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in our diet……
To Sum Up
It seems that if we take care of our bodies from the inside, our eyesight will hold up longer. By simply –
- Cutting Out Sugar
- Reducing Inflmmation
- Eating only unprocessed processed carbohydrates
- Eating a diet rich in Vitamins and Anti-Oxidants
We can have a profound influence on the state of our eyesight at any age. Give these changes a try and see if your eyesight improves, and for the younger readers these changes are worth taking on board if you want better and more robust vision for years to come…..