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The Ideal Nutritional Diet To Improve Eye Health

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Sleep well to give your overstrained eyes the rest and nutrients they need. Eat organic whole foods (kale, chard, collards, broccoli, nectarines, peas, and oranges) and fat (avocados, walnuts, hemp hearts, olives and quality olive oil). Indulge in outdoor activities that don’t require much visual effort. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes even when it is not too sunny. Use natural ingredients in eyecare products.

When it comes to seeing well, better and protecting our vision for the future, I get a lot of questions, some of which are better than others – the better ones foreshadow the way we need to think about better nutrition for better eye health. For example:

  • Should I take supplements to protect my eyes? OK
  • What foods can I eat to protect my eyes? Good
  • What should I be eating, avoiding, and doing to give me better eye health today and in the future? Better

Why Eye-Health Is A Priority

Eye health is personal to me. My grandmother had Macular Degeneration and I saw firsthand how it hampered her daily living. As I learned about nutrition and supplements, I recall wondering if only she had had access to a quality lutein supplement, it would have prevented her disease.

Does Nutrition Alone Suffice?

As I learned more about nutrition, better nutrition for better health, I discovered that a quality supplement may be able to help, but it’s only a small part of the solution.

What we consume, what we choose not to consume, what we do and don’t do are the things that all combine for better health outcomes. For better eye health, here’s what we need to know and do.

Basic Tips For Better Eye Health

  • Shut them, often.
  • Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for any health outcome but especially for better eye health. Our eyes need time off. It’s called “shut eye”.
  • When we sleep, the body goes about its cleanup and recovery work that includes making sure nutrients get to the eyes but also unwanteds don’t make it there or don’t set up time there.
  • Get better nutrition. Not better eye nutrition, specifically, but better nutrition overall. This is key because better eye health is not just the result of nutrients we know to be good for the eyes.
  • Factors affecting eye health also include inappropriate chronic inflammation, elevated blood sugar, poor detoxification, rogue calcium deposits etc. It is said that following the BNS plan will help reduce risk of all of these factors.

Nutrition-Specific Tips For Improved Eye-Health

  1. Whether this is in the whole food form, in the blended or in the dried into a supplement form, make sure the nutrients you are taking in for your eyes are from organic whole foods.
  2. Foods include greens and oranges – organic fruits and vegetables like kale, chard, collards, broccoli, nectarines, oranges, and peas are great givers of potent eye health supporting nutrients.
  3. Eat fat. The pure, potent, delicious kinds like avocados, walnuts, hemp hearts, olives and quality olive oil because many eye health nutrients are fat-soluble so they rely on fat to deliver them.
  4. Consider eye supplementation. The overall research isn’t too impressive as we continue to see that food sources deliver results not met by dietary supplements. This misses one important thing. Not all dietary supplements are created equal.
  5. If lutein, xeaxanthin (or zeaxanthin) from organic food sources were compared to the majority of chemical nutrient isolates, we would likely have different results. But no supplement can undo or outdo what your food can do, so start there.
  6. Read, write, and then create some space! We should do things that use our eye muscles, but we shouldn’t do things that use our eye muscles all the time, especially if its tiny print or images that we are trying to follow when our mind and eyes would prefer some distance.
  7. One of the great parts about most outdoor activity is that it doesn’t require your eyes to hone in on tiny writing up close. Get outside and play or at least change up your distance to give your eyes (and body) some diversity of effort required during the waking hours.
  8. Protect your eyes. Wear shades! Don’t forget your sunglasses even if it seems less bright out. Just like the sun’s rays get in through the clouds, we need to wear sun protection (clothes) as well as sunscreen (backup protection).
  9. We should be wearing sunglasses when the sun is out even if we don’t see it. We should also make sure that we protect the eye area by applying better beauty in the form of quality eye cream, tinted moisturizers, sunscreen, and even our eye shadows and mascara!

Remember, what goes on our skin goes in us, so better beauty is part of better eye health and better overall health.

Ashley Koff RD

Ashley Koff RD is an internationally-renowned registered dietitian who believes better nutrition is simple and is on a mission to help people achieve their personal health goals by providing understandable and highly effective tips and strategies. A self-described “qualitarian,” Koff emphasizes the value of quality nutritional choices in achieving optimal wellbeing, and has developed online tools such as The AKA Qualitarian Nutrition Plan and The AKA Personal Shopper to help people make better-quality choices. Besides maintaining a Washington, D.C.-based clinical practice, Koff is a much-sought-after expert in the media, social media, and is a go-to dietitian for the nation's leading doctors.

Ashley Koff RD

Ashley Koff RD is an internationally-renowned registered dietitian who believes better nutrition is simple and is on a mission to help people achieve their personal health goals by providing understandable and highly effective tips and strategies. A self-described “qualitarian,” Koff emphasizes the value of quality nutritional choices in achieving optimal wellbeing, and has developed online tools such as The AKA Qualitarian Nutrition Plan and The AKA Personal Shopper to help people make better-quality choices. Besides maintaining a Washington, D.C.-based clinical practice, Koff is a much-sought-after expert in the media, social media, and is a go-to dietitian for the nation's leading doctors.

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