Foods Can Help Save Your Eyesight

Poor eating habits tend to make sight-threatening conditions more likely, what you eat can contribute massively towards promoting sharp vision.

14/03/2017 03:54 SAST | Updated 14/03/2017 14:07 SAST
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Undoubtedly, diet has a major influence on the quality of sight. Different studies show a close relationship between healthy vision and a generally healthy diet. On the other hand, poor eating habits tend to make sight-threatening conditions more likely. Including the following foods in what you eat can contribute massively towards promoting sharp vision.

Pumpkin leaves

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The nutritional profile of pumpkin leaves is remarkably beneficial to vision. Pumpkin leaves are rich in beta carotene which is utilised for production of vitamin A, known to be essential for optimum vision. Vitamin A prevents night blindness, keeps eyes from getting dry, and protects against eye infections. Beta carotene also synergises with zinc and vitamins C and E from other food sources to protect against degeneration of the macula, a vital eye part.

Additionally, pumpkin leaves are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients lauded for their outstanding role in promoting healthy vision. Lutein and zeaxanthin function as antioxidants and they shield the macula from damage by harmful radicals and the sun's ultraviolet rays. As a result, eating pumpkin leaves and other nutritious foods is super-effective for combating development and progression of age-related macular degeneration. This condition happens to be a leading cause of blindness among people who are aging.


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Like pumpkin leaves, butternut has beta carotene as well as lutein and zeaxanthin. Butternut also has omega3 fats which possess immense anti-inflammatory powers that prevent macular degeneration and quell dry syndrome. Furthermore, with a colossal dose of fiber, butternut helps combat diabetes and other conditions that induce poor vision. Unfortunately, impaired vision is a likely health complication of poorly managed diabetes, cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) disease, autoimmune conditions, thyroid disorders, and other chronic conditions. In severe cases, such conditions, especially diabetes, result in blindness. Therefore, eating butternut and other healthy foods on a consistent basis can significantly suppress a multitude of conditions that cause eye problems.


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Papaya is another must-eat for maintaining healthy vision. Besides its rich content of beta carotene, papaya boasts high levels of vitamin C and multiple antioxidants. Beta carotene has immense antioxidant powers and so does vitamin C, making papaya chockfull of antioxidants. Experts say that eating high antioxidant foods like papaya is tremendously instrumental for warding off eye cataracts. This property of papaya is particularly helpful to diabetics because they are highly susceptible to eye cataracts.

Sunflower seeds

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Loaded with a variety of nutrients, sunflower seeds are helpful for keeping eyes in good health. Important nutrients found in sunflower seeds include vitamin E and selenium; they have been cited for fighting off night blindness. Vitamin E is also utilised for minimising macular degeneration. The antioxidant powers of vitamin E and selenium are extremely relevant too, considering that an antioxidant-rich diet is vital for healthy vision. Additionally, sunflower seeds contain phyto-sterols and a wide assortment of nutrients that also serve as antioxidants, resulting in a phenomenal army of antioxidant nutrients. Furthermore, selenium, phyto-sterols, along with fiber and a multitude of antioxidants are actively involved in offsetting chronic conditions, many of which may impair vision.

The above mentioned foods promote healthy vision and making them part of a healthy diet is key. It is also important to be cognisant that efficacy of nutrients from any food is highly dependent on interaction with nutrients from other foods and ultimately, the best way to maintain healthy vision is following a healthy diet rich in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and other unprocessed plant foods.