Squint much? If reading a newspaper or screen seems more challenging with each passing year – before you look up vision supplements, there are ways you can improve eyesight naturally with superfoods.
Did you know that Roman physicians used boiled liver to heal patients with sore or failing eyesight? Thanks, but we’ll pass! However, nearly 2,000 years later World War II British Royal Air Force pilots ate bilberry jam (a far more appetizing natural remedy) to improve their night vision.
Bilberries and black currants have a key compound called anthocyanosides that help protect the retina.
Bilberry may also improve eyesight naturally and protect against age related macular degeneration, glaucoma, low vision, and cataracts.
Over 25 million people globally are affected by age related macular degeneration (AMD) – which causes vision loss in the macula, the part of the eye that controls central vision.
AMD happens slowly over time and can also affect your ability read and drive.
How Can You Improve Eyesight Naturally?
Dr. Ivana Kim, Associate Professor of Opthalmology, Harvard Medical School, says, “The retina – is thought to be an environment of high oxidative stress, meaning that there is an abundance of free radicals.”
Since antioxidants fight free radicals and repair retina damage it’s important to nourish your body with vision enhancing nutrients found in superfoods:
- Lutein and zeaxanthin – Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, kale, romaine, spinach, squash, oranges and papayas
- Vitamin A – Apricots, carrots, mangos, and raw red peppers
- Astaxanthin – Found in wild caught salmon and marine phytoplankton
- Omega 3 fatty acids – Flaxseed, wild halibut, sardines, walnuts, and tuna
- Vitamin C – Grapefruit, broccoli, kiwi, oranges, raw red peppers, and strawberries
- Vitamin E – Almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ
- Zinc – Chickpeas, oysters, pork chops, plain Greek yogurt, and red meat
Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
If you ever gotten a sunburn on your eyelids we feel your pain. Sure, not wearing sunglasses can cause premature wrinkles around the eyes, but that’s not all. Eye diseases caused by over exposure to the sun include cataracts, retina damage, and macular degeneration.
Ultraviolet light can be toxic to the retina. This photochemical damage spreads from the retina throughout all areas of the eye. If you take antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), psychotherapeutic agents, and even some herbal medications can act as a photosensitizer that accelerates retinal UV damage.
To improve eyesight naturally add these powerful superfoods for sight as part of your daily meals and always wear sunglasses when outside during the day.
Make sure your sunglasses have both UV-A and UV-B protection between 99 and 100 percent. Don’t be afraid to the rock the movie star look, go for large frames in wraparound styles. These help block out more sunlight than smaller shades.
Infographic provided courtesy of Supersavers Opticans, Dublin, Ireland