Lifestyle, Nutrition and Eye Health
Obviously, a healthy and balanced diet is good for overall health, but we explore the studies that have shown a direct connection between what we eat, overall nutrition and eye health.
Leafy greens and glaucoma
Research has shown that there is a connection between what we eat and developing glaucoma. Glaucoma develops when the fluid around our eyes (aqueous fluid) can’t drain properly, causing pressure which can damage the optic nerve and the fibers of the retina.
Of the 100,000 40+-year-olds that took part in the study, they looked at the differences in diet between the 1,483 people that did develop Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and the people that didn’t. Resulting in noting that those who hadn’t developed the disease, regularly ate more leafy greens.
Leafy greens contain a high level of dietary nitrate that helps regulate the blood flow to the optic nerve, therefore making the connection between eating your greens (about 1.5 servings a day) and glaucoma.
Nutrition and cataracts
Diets which are high in antioxidants have shown a reduced risk in the development of cataracts whereas those high in carbohydrates have an increased risk.
Cataracts, an eye condition that develops over many years occurs when the lens of the eye becomes less clear, resulting in a cloudy vision.
Commonly known as age-related cataracts, they are one of the leading causes of sight loss today.
Research on 30,000 49-year-old women showed that those who ate a lot of foods high in antioxidants were less likely to develop cataracts, compared to those who didn’t. Brightly colored fruit and dark green vegetables contain the highest number of antioxidants, as well as whole grains.
Additional research also showed that those who ate a diet high in carbohydrates had an increased risk of developing cataracts.
What should be in your diet?
Consuming your five a day and making fruit and veg a part of your diet will help towards sustaining a balanced diet as well as keeping your eyes healthy.
Avoiding take-outs, fast food, processed food, sugary foods, salty foods and foods high in saturated fat are all ways of preventing cataracts.
With a healthy body will come healthy eyes.