By Dr Stephanie Luk
One of my favourite topics of conversation: food! There are many nutritious foods that help contribute to maintaining and strengthening healthy eyes. Yes, so that means another good excuse to go and check out the delicious food our city has to offer.
Most people are aware that carrots are good for the eyes. Carrots contain vitamin A whose derivative is a large component of the rod cells in the eyes. These cells are best for detecting motion and seeing in the dark. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common causes of blindness in the world, and can lead to dry eyes. Vitamin A can also be found in kale, spinach, egg yolk, and dairy products. So don’t pass up the spinach eggs benedict at brunch next time.
Omega 3 is another beneficial nutrient for people of all ages. For children, omega 3 not only helps with eye development, but also brain development during infancy. One of the most common complaints among adults, especially those that use the computer all day, is dryness of the eyes. Omega 3 plays a large role in reducing dry eye symptoms. High levels of omega 3 can be found in fish. Don’t be afraid to order that extra plate of sashimi.
Copious amounts of antioxidants are necessary to maintain and protect the eyes. Vitamin C and E, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin are all especially important for the eyes. Vitamin C plays a role in decreasing the progression of cataracts, a condition that would require surgery when vision gets cloudy. Vitamin E and zinc help to maintain the retina, the tissue that allows us to see. Lutein and zeaxanthin are especially important for the macula, the part of our retina that we use to see details. Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables, like citrus fruits, kale, broccoli, and goji berries. Now you know that juicy kale smoothie doesn’t only taste good, but it is also good for your eyes!
Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring. Go ahead and enjoy the healthy options scattered throughout our city!