Eating For Your Eyes
Every day you are exposed to free radicals that can cause damage to the cells in your eyes.Free radicals are the by-products created by sun exposure, poor diet and environmental pollutants and their build-up may contribute to the development of various health conditions. Along with regular eye exams, a nutritious and balanced diet rich in certain vitamins and antioxidants may assist in maintaining the health of our eyes.
Antioxidants play a key role in defending the health of your eyes. Assisting in the prevention of disease in the eye, antioxidants also promote general health and wellbeing. Found in fresh fruits and vegetables, antioxidants can help to counteract the effects of free radicals. Choosing vegetables with brighter colours and eating them raw is the best way to obtain their nutrients. Berries, such as raspberries and blueberries, are also rich in antioxidants.
Dark, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale contain a powerful antioxidant called lutein, which are essential to human vision. Lutein is a natural pigment that reduces the harmful effects of free radicals by protecting the retina.
It’s true that carrots can help your eyes! Loaded with beta-carotenes, carrots, along with sweet potato, squash and cantaloupe can all benefit your eye health and vision. The liver transforms beta-carotenes into vitamin A, which then travels to the retina where it is converted into rhodopsin, the chemical responsible for night vision.
Found in eggs and oily fish like salmon, omega-3 fatty acids are vital for optimal eye development. Omega-3 provides nutrients that allow your eyes to function at their best and in some cases can prevent or lessen the effects of dry eye.
A recipe for healthy sight
Smoked Salmon and Spinach Frittata
200g smoked salmon
3 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, finely chopped
300g sweet potato, chopped and cooked until tender
2 cups baby spinach
8 large eggs
2 tbsp ricotta
1. Heat oil and cook onion and potato until lightly brown.
2. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, remove from pan and allow to cool.
3. Whisk eggs with cheese and add vegetables and salmon, season with salt and pepper.
4. Spoon into a baking tin and cook in a moderate oven for 30 minutes, until eggs have set and top is browned.
5. Serve with a mixed green salad.