When it comes to improving eyesight and keeping healthy eyesight research studies imply that there’s a connection between the quality of our diet and the quality of our vision health.
As an example, studies indicate that diets that lack fruits and vegetables and include a great deal of junk foods and sugary foods tend to increase the risks for eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. On the other hand, diets which are rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and wholesome proteins such as albacore tuna, fish and poultry help to significantly lower the risks for age related eye diseases.
When it comes to nutrition for improved eyesight one particular term you have probably heard mentioned many times is the term phytochemical. What are phytochemicals and what role do they play in protecting and enhancing our vision health?
These are a huge selection of chemical compounds in plants that are found in an assortment of different foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts. These chemical compounds serve an assortment of useful functions. They perform different roles in the body concerning disease fighting properties.
They also play a role in maintaining good overall health. These natural chemical plant chemicals give fruits and vegetables their green,red,and purple colours and decrease the risks for diseases like cancer,increase the body’s immune system,lower blood pressure and encourage better heart health.
Phytochemicals are subdivided into 4 major categories. These include carotenoids, flavonoids, ellagic acid and allium compounds,(medicinal protective compounds in plants that protect the heart and immune system found in onions, scallions, chives and garlic). Besides their overall health benefits the subdivision of phytochemicals known as carotenoids play a significant role in improving eyesight and protecting eye health. Some kinds of carotenoids contain beta carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Beta Carotene: Beta Carotene which is a precursor to Vitamin A plays a role in protecting the surface of their eyes (the cornea) from bacterial diseases. Vitamin A in conjunction with other vision boosting nutrients such as Vitamin C, E, Zinc and Copper lowers the risks for age related vision ailments.
- Lycopene: This is the pigment that gives tomatoes their red colour. Scientific research indicates that Lycopene when coupled with other vision supporting nutrients like Lutein and Zeaxanthin might actually lessen the risks for age related macular degeneration and cataracts in aging eyes.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These antioxidants jointly play a role in filtering out harmful blue light from sunlight and act as natural sunglasses in protecting vision. Concentrations of these antioxidants are present at the greatest levels in the cells of the eyes more than any other region of the body. Therefore, they play a role as strong antioxidants in preventing disease causing free radical cells from the eyes which cause harm to healthy cells. Their role in reducing age related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts has been documented in scientific research studies.
Phytochemicals are a huge selection of disease fighting chemical compounds in plants supplying many different health benefits. These include a decrease in cardiovascular disease, immune system boosting benefits, and a decrease in age related vision disorders. By adding food sources of those wholesome plant compounds in our diet, we’re doing something good for our overall health while protecting our precious vision also.