16th – 22nd March is Nutrition and Hydration week. This awareness week has taken place every March since 2012 and is used to highlight the importance of food and drink for our health and well-being.
Eating the right food and drinking enough throughout the day is important to the everyday function of our bodies. It keeps us healthy and each part of our body inside and out, working as it should be.
When it comes to eye care, getting key nutrients in your diet and keeping well hydrated is imperative to the care of your eyes and maintaining their overall health. It can also help to prevent the development of common eye conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and dry eye.
We have always been advised to make sure we eat 5 portions of fruit and veg per day, many of these will contain nutrients that help boost the eye health without you even knowing!
Some of the top nutrients you can find in your food are:
- Vitamin A
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
A lot of these nutrients are found in fruit and vegetables, and some are found in meat and dairy products.
Which Foods Contain These Nutrients?
Knowing which foods contain these nutrients is useful, as you can actively choose to eat more of them to keep maintaining your eye health and prevent the onset of common eye diseases.
Kale, spinach, broccoli and other dark green vegetables are packed full of health boosting nutrients. These contain lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C, and are known for their endless health benefits. This combination creates an antioxidant for you eyes, helping to shield them from harmful UV rays.
Fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut are all a good source of Omega-3. A high consumption of omega-3 in your diet has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular problems.
Orange Fruit and Vegetables
Carrots, mango, squash, peppers and sweet potatoes are all a source of Vitamin A. The pigments in orange coloured foods come from beta-carotene which is a type of Vitamin A. These foods help to protect your eyes and support the function of the cornea.
Hydration is also a key factor in your overall health. If we don’t drink enough, we become dehydrated and not only do we struggle to function but so do our organs.
As the body is made up from around 50% of water, it is important to ensure we are continuing to fuel our body and re-hydrate it enough. It is the building block of new cells and every cell in our body relies on it for survival including our eyes.
The eyes have a high-water content and depend on fluids for a healthy functionality. The level of hydration of your eyes can have a link to the risk of eye conditions such as dry eye and cataracts.
Dry eye can occur when there are insufficient or poor quality tears to nourish the eye. As this can be a symptom of dehydration one of the best treatments is to re-hydrate the eye by drinking plenty of water or using eye drops.
Cataracts can develop from activities that put strain on the body such as smoking, medication and exposure to UV rays. All these factors can cause dehydration. Keeping yourself well hydrated may help to counteract some of the affects these activities may have on your vision.
So whether it’s adding more veggies to your diet or making sure you drink plenty throughout the day, changing your relationship with food and drink will benefit your overall health and your eye health. What might you change today to benefit your future self?
For any more information on nutrition, eye conditions or queries, contact us today on 01332 291010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org