GOOD NUTRITION, GOOD VISION

nutrition classes for preteen

BEST NATURAL SOURCES FOR HEALTHY EYES!

According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, August is Vision & Learning Month, which was first declared in 1995 to help increase awareness about the prevalence of misdiagnosed vision problems in children.  Poor eyesight is often believed to be caused only by Aging but research says, It is not! Parents should also know that good nutrition is a factor for good vision. So, In this article, we will talk about the TOP NUTRIENTS for a HEALTHY EYESIGHT and their NATURAL SOURCES! Let’s begin.

TOP NUTRIENTS FOR A HEALTHY VISION

Our eyes are our windows to the world. Yet, we start abusing them from a very early age by indulging in activities such as reading in low light or rubbing them to get relief from irritation.

Nutritional deficiencies play a role in causing a deterioration in eye health by giving rise to diseases such as xerophthalmia (Vitamin A deficiency) and nutritional optic neuropathy. In fact, poor nutrition is a leading cause of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Here are HKNA’s top nutrients for a healthy vision. 

  1. Lutein – a carotenoid antioxidant that can improve or prevent age-related macular disease by 43%, the leading cause of vision impairment and irreversible blindness.
  2. Zeaxanthin – a carotenoid antioxidant, known as “internal eyeglass”  which protects eye tissue, lens, and macula from sunlight damage. This can also prevent age-related macular disease, glaucoma, and cataract.
  3. Zinc – plays a vital role in maintaining normal ocular function. Zinc is highly present in the retina and choroid which supplies nutrients to the outer retina, and maintains eye temperature and volume. Zinc also prevents age-related macular disease and night blindness.
  4. Vitamin C- has an antioxidant property that can protect the eyes from fighting free radicals. Research says when Vitamin C is in combination with other nutrients, it can also prevent age-related macular disease, cataracts, and visual acuity. 
  5. Vitamin E-  Protects eyes from free radicals which can prevent age-related macular disease and cataracts.
  6. Vitamin A – a protein component of rhodopsin, an abundant protein present in the retina which plays a vital role in night vision. Vitamin A is also shown to be beneficial in preventing loss of vision caused by degenerative diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
  7. Omega 3-  reduce the risk of eye high pressure that is responsible for glaucoma. Omega 3 fatty acids also help in maintaining normal blood pressure, lowering inflammatory responses that can prevent eye damage caused by diabetes. Research also says that Omega 3 can prevent dry eyes.

NATURAL SOURCES FOR HEALTHY VISION

Taking a cue from this, we can understand that good nutrition from childhood can help in preventing and retarding the progression of several eye diseases. It is recommended that an individual should take five servings of fruits and vegetables, and two servings of nuts every day along with fish at least two days a week for healthy eyes.

The dietitians at HKNA recommend including these 7 foods in your family’s meal plan for healthy vision.

  1. Fish are rich in Omega 3-Fatty acids
  2. Nuts are rich in Omega 3-Fatty acids and Vitamin E.
  3. Carrots contain Vitamin A and beta carotene.
  4. Eggs are a good source of Lutein and zeaxanthin
  5. Berries are rich in Vitamin C
  6. Green Leafy Veggies contain a good source of Lutein, zeaxanthin, and Vitamin C.
  7. Citrus Fruits are rich in Vitamin C.
  8. Berries are rich in Vitamin C.
  9. Beef is a good source of Zinc
  10. Avocado is a good source of Lutein and zeaxanthin.

BOTTOMLINE

There is a strong link between nutrition and eye health. This means that if someone doesn’t have healthy eating habits, they can have BAD EYESIGHT EVEN AT A YOUNG AGE which can be scary. Along with eating nutrient-dense foods, regular eye checkups with your local optometrist for the detection of eye problems is also a must. 

With all the information on the internet, how sure are you that you are feeding your child a healthy and balanced meal?

HOW DIETITIANS CAN HELP?

Dietitians can explain research-based nutrition facts in a way that is practical and useful not only for your child but also for you as a parent.

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