Many of us take care of our bodies by getting regular exercise and trying to eat healthy, mostly in an effort to look good or to address a potential health concern, like hypertension, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
What many of us don’t realize is how our diet and fitness choices can also affect our eye health. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Changes to your diet can yield a lot of benefit both for your overall health and also your eyesight.
If you find yourself eating a lot of processed foods over a long period of time, there aren’t many nutrients for your body to absorb and run properly. Along with vital organs, your eyesight is affected as well over the long term.
The Mayo Clinic has a list of recommended nutrients that can help improve your eye health. They advise increasing your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and Vitamins A and C, not only through multivitamin supplements, but through foods. Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards are a great source of vitamins and minerals, especially eaten on a daily basis; salmon, tuna, and other oily fish are good sources of Omega-3s along with eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources. Oranges and other citrus fruits provide a lot of Vitamin A and C.
If you have a hard time incorporating more vegetables into your diet, try making smoothies with leafy greens and fruits to make it more palatable. You can get a daily supply of healthy greens by making one morning smoothie that includes kale, spinach, banana, and lemon juice – a great drink for your eye health.
Exercise plays a key role in eye health, too, in ways you may not expect. For instance, a 2014 study concluded that exercise might reduce the risk of macular degeneration, which occurs when neurons in the central part of the retina deteriorate.
Then there is the more obvious eye strain: sitting in front of the computer for hours every day. This takes a tremendous toll on the body - it can not only compromise your alignment, your weight and your energy level, but it can also affect your eyesight. If you are staring at the computer, it puts a strain on your eyes.
Some tips to help alleviate the problems:
- Make sure your computer screen is raised to eye level so you aren’t bending your neck down
- Sit in a comfortable, supportive chair
- Make sure your glasses prescription is up to date; see your eye doctor at least every two years
- Look away from the computer screen every twenty minutes, for at least twenty second. Every two hours, get up and take a walk
Taking better care of our health includes our eyes – pay attention to your daily food and activities.