General Nutrition for Eyes

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Funny Fruits Series: Strawbery, Pomegranate, Melon...etcGood nutrition is important for both your general and eye health. As well as this, eye supplements can help you get optimum levels of valuable nutrients, which are often lacking in our diet. These are required for general eye health and for healthy vision.

Dry eye is a very common condition mainly due to increased use of computers and video games, air conditioning and increased contact lens wear. Simple blinking exercises can be of great benefit. From a nutrition point of view, essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 and omega-6, can reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome. Salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are rich in omega-3. Omega-6 is found in corn oil, sunflower oil and canola oil.

Two eye conditions which are becoming more common are cataracts and age related macula degeneration (ARMD).

ARMD is a condition where there is wear and tear to the macula region of the eye, which is located on the retina. The macula area of the eye allows us to see fine detail and gives us colour vision therefore wear and tear here leads to visual impairment and loss of central vision.

Cataracts, is a condition where the naturally clear lens in the eye becomes cloudy, again causing visual impairment, reduced night vision and glare in bright light. Exposure to, UV light, age, smoking and poor diet are all risk factors of ARMD and cataracts. Although age is the biggest risk factor for both, a good balanced diet can help prevent or slow down progression.

Two antioxidants, known as carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in their highest concentration in the macula region and their role is to protect the cells and tissues from the damaging effects of blue UV light. The vitamins A, C and E also help to maintain healthy cells and tissues in the eye. These carotenoids and vitamins can be found in oranges, tomatoes, peppers, raw carrots, green leafy vegetables including kale and spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, dried apricots and blueberries. Nuts, seeds and dairy products and eggs are also good sources of vitamins A, C and E. Dietary supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin can be taken, though you must consult your GP first, if you are taking any prescription medication.

A balanced rainbow diet, consisting of a range of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, is very important in maintaining comfortable clear vision and healthy eyes.

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