You have probably been told that carrots are good for your eyes, especially night vision. This actually stems from World War II—did you know that? Apparently, the British did not want the opposing soldiers to become aware of their brand-new radar technology. Therefore, the British claimed that their airmen obtained their night vision by consuming carrots. It is not known whether the Germans believe it or not, but the idea behind it stuck around.
Now, is there any truth behind all of this? There may not be any truth to the part about getting superior night vision, but there is truth to the part that carrots and other certain foods do contain specific nutrients that will help maintain good eye health.
Sweet Potatoes and Oranges
Vitamin C and E and two very important antioxidants that help you remain healthy. Vitamin C has the ability to reduce your overall risk of developing cataracts, and it could even decelerate the progression of age-related macular degeneration. You can get vitamin C by consuming citrus fruit like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. Vitamin E has the ability to protect your eyes from what are known as “free radicals,” which are molecules that damage healthy tissue. Vitamin E can be obtained from nuts and sweet potatoes.
Fish is the absolute best source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for a healthy immune system and adequate brain function. Research continues to show that Omega-3 fatty acids play a huge role in eye development and the function of the retina.
Eggs and Leafy Green
Numerous studies have shown that two nutrients—xeazanthin and lutein—are associated to a reduced risk of chronic eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Both of these nutrients can be obtained from eggs and leafy greens.
Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A, but so are leafy green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables. These foods get their color from something called beta-carotene, and our intestines use this to create vitamin A, which is then used by our eyes to help convert light into brainwaves. This is very important for the corneas. Statistics report that as many as half a million children are left blind annually due to a deficiency of vitamin A.
Oysters are an excellent source of zinc. Zinc is important to a number of processes in the body, including helping move vitamin A from the liver to the retina. Regardless of the amount of vitamin A that is consumed, it cannot get from point A to point B without the proper nutrient—and that’s zinc! If you don’t like oysters, then you can zinc in a smaller dose from beans, meats, and nuts.
Non-Food Component: Eye Exams
When you add one or more of the aforementioned foods to your daily diet, your eyes will definitely benefit. However, just because you are getting healthier with your food choices, it does not mean that you can stop getting your regular eye exams. Inadequate nutrition is not the only thing that results in eye issues, and this is why it is crucial that you schedule regular eye exams with us at Performance Vision. This is particularly true if you have noticed a recent change in your vision. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.
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