Healthy Diet & EYES

Healthy Diet & EYES

"Healthy Diet" For Good Vision

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, a healthful diet is a diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products can help you enjoy a lifetime of good vision.

But it's common knowledge that most people don't eat enough fruits, vegetables and other nutrient-rich foods, opting instead for high-calorie, low-nutrient alternatives that can be harmful to the body, including the eyes.

A 2017 randomized controlled trial evaluated macular carotenoid supplements (lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin) in people with high screen time usage. The supplement group had statistically significant reduction in self-reported headache, eye strain, eye fatigue and sleep complaints, but no reduction in neck strain or blurry vision.

Vision Supplements:

It seems wise to supplement your diet with a daily eye supplement that contains many, if not all, of the following ingredients.

Most of these vitamins and nutrients may play a key role in reducing inflammation and oxidative changes associated with the development of degenerative diseases, including chronic and age-related eye problems:

  • Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A (and its precursor, beta-carotene) is necessary for night vision, wound healing and proper functioning of the immune system. Though supplemental beta-carotene has been associated with greater risk of certain cancers among smokers and previous smokers, obtaining a healthy amount of beta-carotene from natural food sources does not appear to elevate this risk.

  • Vitamin B complex (including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 folic acid, biotin and choline). B complex vitamins may help reduce chronic inflammation and prevent elevated homocysteine levels in the blood, which have been associated with vascular problems affecting the retina. B vitamins also may play a role in reducing the risk of macular degeneration and in the treatment of uveitis, a common cause of blindness.

  • Vitamin C. Some studies have found vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is associated with reduced risk of cataracts.

  • Vitamin D. Recent literature suggests vitamin D deficiency is widespread, especially during winter months in cold climates. Research suggests vitamin D is associated with a lower risk of macular degeneration.

  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E has been associated with reduced risk of cataracts in other studies.

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids and macular pigments may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

  • Phytochemical antioxidants. Plant extracts, such as those from ginkgo biloba and bilberry, contain phytochemicals, which appear to provide protection from oxidative stress in the entire body, including the eyes.

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These essential nutrients may reduce the risk of dry eyes and may have other eye health benefits as well.

  • Bioflavonoids. Found in many fruits and vegetables, bioflavonoids appear to help the body absorb vitamin C for higher antioxidant efficiency.

Experts suggest high-quality eye and vision supplements should contain at least the following ingredients for optimum effect:

  • vitamin C (250 to 500 mg)

  • vitamin E (400 IU)

  • zinc (25 to 40 mg)

  • copper (2 mg)

  • vitamin B complex that also contains 400 mcg of folic acid

  • omega-3 fatty acids (2,000 mg)

Taking eye vitamins and vision supplements generally is very safe. But be sure to check with your doctor first if you are on medications, are pregnant or nursing, or are considering taking higher daily doses than those listed above.

Prevalence

Computers, tablets, e-readers, smartphones and other electronic devices with visual displays all can cause tired eyes, digital eye strain and computer vision syndrome. Computer-related eye problems have become widespread: according to a 2015 survey by The Vision Council, 65 percent of American adults reported having symptoms of digital eye strain.

 According to the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, computer vision syndrome affects about 90% of the people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer. Another study in Malaysia was conducted on 795 university students aged between 18 and 25. The students experienced headaches along with eyestrain, with 89.9% of the students surveyed feeling any type of symptom of CVS. Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day in front of a screen, whether that be a television screen, phone/tablet, or a computer screen. This has increased the prevalence of individuals affected by computer vision syndrome.

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