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January is often the time when we look at our food consumption as we are inundated with suggestions in the papers, on social media and on the TV with information on diets or plans for a healthy start to the new year.

ABDO (Association of British Dispensing Opticians) advise that your diet contributes to better general health and this in turn could help to reduce the risks of problems with your eyes and conditions such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Being overweight can put you at risk of health problems including high blood pressure, stroke and type 2 diabetes which can have adverse effects on the eyes.

Most people with a fresh and varied, healthy diet will have all the vitamins and minerals they need from what they eat.  Vitamin A, C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) are all believed to promote eye health and reduce the risk of developing certain conditions later in life.  If you do have an eye condition, speak to your GP or eye specialist before taking any form of supplement.

Try and pack your meals with good healthy foods.

The NHS says beta-carotene gives yellow and orange fruit and vegetables their colour. It’s turned into vitamin A in the body, so it can perform the same jobs in the body as vitamin A.  Good sources of Vitamin A are dairy products such as milk, eggs and cheese.

Citrus fruits and berries are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant, which your eyes need relatively high levels of vitamin C to function properly. It is also found in a wide variety of other fruit and vegetables.

Fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut, trout, anchovies, herring, and mackerel are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  The NHS recommends that we eat at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish.

If you do not eat fish you can also get omega-3 from flaxseed/linseed or rapeseed oils and soya foods such as tofu, as well as walnuts and eggs.

Leafy green vegetables, like spinach, kale and spring greens, are full of carotenoids.  Broccoli, peas, avocados, romaine lettuce and eggs are also a good source of these nutrients. Curly kale is an often referred to as a “super food” for eye health.

The NHS has lots of information regarding balanced diets. Visit here for more information. 

January 2022