By : Komal Thakur (Pharmacist, Naturopath, Health & Fitness Enthusiast)

Food for your eyes

Statistics are meant to help us and give us some idea about what the majority of demography is up to. About 15 years back, wearing glasses or any kind of vision aid was considered a major downer. It was frowned upon on by majority of the population. It is obviously related to health and anything related to health is not to be looked down on, however, a person with glasses was automatically considered to be “unfit” for so many tasks. So 10-15 years back, almost 25% of Indian population wore glasses and I am speaking about the entire population, the percentage is certainly higher in older demographic, above the age of fifty. Now in 2021, about 57% of Indian population wear glasses or contacts or is in need for some kind of a vision correction. You see how the statistics have jumped. The growth is almost exponential and it does not make me happy. The world is beautiful because you can see it and hence it’s inevitable that we take care of our eyes in the best possible way. I am not going to rant about how computers, laptops and phones have become an inseparable part of our lives, we cannot get anything done without them, but it’s necessary to limit the screen time whenever possible.


Understanding your eyes:

To make it simple, let us compare the eye with a digital camera or even your phone camera. Camera is in fact based on the anatomy of the human eye. What you see is what gets captured! Now eye is a very delicate organ, the iris, the retina, cornea and the lens all function in tandem and are very sensitive to even a slightest foreign particle entering your eye. Slightest particle of dust can damage it. Light is captured by the cornea, the iris controls how much light reaches the back of the eye, the lens located behind the pupil focuses the light and the image, and finally the image reaches the retina. Hence, when vision correction is required the focal length is measured and adjusted accordingly. It’s far more complex than this, but this is what we need to know to better understand and take care of our eyes.


Food for eyes:

All the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients are important for proper functioning of any vital organ. Having said that, there are few components that really need to be taken care of. Vitamin A- that is retinol, the entire Vitamin B group, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Omega-3, Lutein &  Zeaxanthin and of course Protein.

Automatically any food or food supplements that have these components will be the ones to keep your eyes on!


Foods that befriend your eyes:

Carrot- Most certainly yes, we have been hearing this since we started seeing and it’s no news. This vegetable even looks like an eye so it’s a no brainer. One carrot a day can keep your eye health intact. It has loads of beta-carotene which is a form of Vitamin A.

Salmon: Salmon is known for its omega-3 content. Almost nothing can beat it. It’s so full of Protein and Vitamin D group, that you might not have to look any further.

Sweet potato: Again, this vegetable is a great source of beta-carotene, plus its super high in protein too. The entire Vitamin B group has found its home in sweet potato. It has no fat or cholesterol; you may be surprised to know this. The best way to eat it is by baking it or making the mashed potatoes out of it. Quick recipe: Wash the sweet potatoes very thoroughly so you don’t have to peel it. Cut it in circles, a little thick. Put it in your flat glass dish. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Add a generous amount of cheddar cheese on top and garnish it with oregano and thyme. Bake it for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Voila!

Walnuts, Cashews and peanuts: Take your pick. These nuts are great sources of Vitamin E and also take care of the necessary good fat. Two walnuts, or 5-6 cashews or a handful of peanuts every day is what I would go for!

Greens, greens and greens: Cannot stress on this any further. Any green leafy vegetables have to be a part of your eye care. These are rich in all the essential nutrients required for your eyes. Protein, vitamin Bs, C, A, name it and they have it. You can choose from Leafy vegetables like spinach and fenugreek, or from broccoli and beans. They are all oh so good!

GRD- The superior protein: While we focus on getting the nutrients from the food, adding GRD to your daily diet won’t disappoint. It’s a supplement for your entire family. It is not just a protein powder but it will take care of all the essential nutrients for your eye health. Talk about Vitamin A, Bs, C, E, K, D; GRD has them all. Pick your flavor and you are all set.


Eye health destructors:

While we spoke about what improves your eye health it’s important to know what destroys your eye health causing irreparable damage. Foods that you should stay away from or at least consume only minimally:

White breads and pastas: These have the refined flour which spikes the sugar level immediately and if consumed excessively can damage the retina.

Energy drinks: These drinks are high in sugar and caffeine which may lead to high blood pressure, this may lead to ocular hypertension causing damage to your eyes.

Alcohol: Excess of anything is damaging to your overall health. Too much alcohol can lead to cataracts which is clouding of the eye lens and where operation becomes necessary. Who would want that?!

Excessive oil: We use oil in our day to day cooking. Some oils contain a huge amount of trans fat, which need to be avoided. It’s better to stick with Olive oil for cooking and also to the good old ghee. Fried foods are to be limited too.

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