When it comes to life’s simple pleasures, we often take what we have for granted. Being free of pain, having strong legs, or enjoying great eyesight – this is what allows us to live life to the fullest. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles often leave us less-than-perfect in quite a few areas of this supposedly basic physical equipment.
Though it might not seem like a big deal – almost 3 out of 4 Americans today need some sort of corrective lens, and the numbers are still increasing. If you want to change your fate or avoid getting glasses altogether, there are some easy hacks that can make your life better overall. Usually, if you heal and improve one area of your body, the rest follows along.
Of course there are simple lifestyle improvements out there to be made. You can start by quitting smoking and wearing sunglasses in order to protect blood vessels and your vision. There are also specific eye exercises that can help you to be able to focus better and improve your eyesight again! For now, let’s just start with the nutritional aspect of things. So, besides not staring at a screen for 10 hours a day and giving your eyes a rest while closing or even massaging them, try to consume more of the following food groups that have beneficial nutrients for your eyesight.
1. Kale, Spinach & Broccoli
All of these green veggies are full of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are plant pigments that can help stem the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. They are also on top of the list when it comes to nutrient density, meaning you get the most amount of nutrients per calorie! Leafy greens are full of vitamin C, protective against all kind of chronic diseases, and help you lose weight fairly well. Easy ways to add them into your daily meals are by making green smoothies or putting some kale into the oven for delicious, crunchy kale chips.
2. Nuts & Seeds
Whether you opt for walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds or flax – all of those are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which boosts your eye health. This includes helping to prevent or control dry eye syndrome and reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Add one or two handfuls a day to your meals or eat as a snack for a healthy amount of these beneficial nutrients.
3. Bell Peppers
Everybody’s favorite vegetable offers a high amount of vitamin C and carotenoids, which are thought to help decrease the risk of many eye diseases. The enzyme lutein is also available in bell peppers, alongside vitamin E and capsaicin. You could say it’s an overall beauty food and works everywhere from your eyes to your skin, hair and waistline. Bell peppers are a nice addition to your sauces, casseroles, salads, and can serve as a crunchy snack, too.
4. Whole Grains
Simply swap your refined carbohydrates for whole grain versions like brown rice, whole-wheat, or quinoa. Their vitamin E, niacin, and zinc promote overall eye health along with the prevention of most other chronic diseases. Plus, they are great for your waistline and satiation. Using them as a staple for your meals will drastically reduce your cost while offering great fuel for your cells.
If you’re looking for a great source of zinc and bioflavonoids, look no further than lentils, kidney beans and black-eyed peas. These foods can help protect the retina and lower the risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts. They are also a great and clean source for protein, help you become satiated, and are among the cheapest foods out there. You can add them to your soups, stews, salads, or make burger patties!
6. Berries, Kiwis, and Citrus
All of these types of fruit are very high in vitamin C, which may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. In the eye, vitamin C may help regenerate other important antioxidants such as vitamin E. Plus, as we all know, vitamin C is essential for our immune system and fighting off inflammation, as well as stress. I make sure to always add some of these to my oatmeal and often just snack on some berries. Special tip: instead of drinking soda, try lemon- or lime-infused water!
Last but not least, the typical food our parents always told us to eat for great vision. Of course, when we were kids and had healthy bodies, we couldn’t have cared less. Now that we’re a little older and can appreciate some of the benefits a little more, there’s no excuse to skip them! Carrots contain a high amount of beta-carotene, which our body uses to make vitamin A. Deficiencies in vitamin A are the leading causes of blindness, as well as macular degeneration and cataracts. Carrots are great for snacks, easy to take along, quick to prepare, and among the sweetest of all vegetables! They can also be added to sauces, stews or salads.
Now, go ahead and pick your favorite foods from the list above. You can include them into your diet in very simple ways without changing much! Anything counts really, so chow down. After you’ve read all the inspirational and awesome articles here on this blog – step away from the desk, get outside, and give your eyes some well-deserved rest.
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