You will already know that veganism is big news and since 2014, Veganuary has inspired nearly a million people to try going vegan for January.
The month-long campaign aims to make veganism more visible, accessible and promotes more plant-based food. So, while we celebrate Veganuary this month, let’s ensure we celebrate eye health too.
It is a fact that a regular intake of fruit and vegetables is known to help reduce the risk of sight loss in later life and this is vital if you’re going vegan in 2020.
During Veganuary, restricting your diet means checking that you have adequate vitamins, minerals and oils needed to maintain good eye health.
You could consider taking supplements so you’re not lacking nutrients that are essential to healthy bodily function – and we can help with this as we stock a range of vitamin supplements that are specific for eye health.
According to The Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB), food containing lutein or zeaxanthin can help prevent eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. They are found in many fruits and vegetables including mango, squash, broccoli, green beans and spinach.
Good eye health starts with the food on your plate and the same rule applies to vegans who are embracing and celebrating Veganuary this January.
If you’re cutting out meat, eggs and dairy, make sure you’re eating the right amount of protein, fats and other important foods so your diet remains ‘balanced’.
Recent figures reported by the Vegan Society show the number of vegans in the UK quadrupled to 600,000 between 2014 and 2018. Of those, more than half of UK vegans (42 per cent) made the change in 2018.
At Richard Petrie Optometrists, we have one piece of advice around Veganuary and trying vegan – celebrate eye health, eat well and never take your eyes for granted.
Regular eye examinations are a way for us to check your vision and eye health. We stock a wide range of vitamin supplements, including Nutrof Total and Ocuvite, eye drops and lid wipes for use at home. Also available is our Blepharitis treatment, BlephEx, for a deeper clean to keep your eyes healthy and happy.
If you’re unsure how to keep your peepers healthy, here are our top food tips to help you serve up a delicious vegan feast!
- Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich sources of carotenoids which can support the small central part of your eye called the macular. It’s responsible for detailed vision.
- Carrots and everything orange! While carrots are, by far, the most well-known food that can boost your eye heath, there are orange goodies to eat too. These include sweet potatoes, pumpkin and orange peppers.
- Black currants are one of the richest natural sources of anthocyanins on the planet and this means they’re full of antioxidants to help your eyes stay healthy. Anthocyanins have a long list of benefits including their ability to regulate a healthy immune system and protect our DNA.
- Flax seed, pumpkin seed and chia seed are rich in Omega-3s and they provide structural support to the cells in your eyes. Rich in fatty acids, try sprinkling them on cereal or in a smoothie!
- Like almonds? They’re an excellent source of vitamin E. This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for healthy eyes because it guards our cells against unstable molecules that damage healthy tissue. Maintaining a healthy level of this vitamin can protect your eyes from developing cataracts.
Is Veganism for you?
Before you consider whether veganism is for you, it’s important to weigh up the benefits to your overall health – and your eyesight. With age-related macular degeneration on the rise, packing a few of these super foods into your diet could help reduce your chances of developing this disease in the future and could help you embrace a vegan lifestyle.