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Healthy eating for healthy eyes

How can I help keep my eyes healthy?

A balanced and varied diet is important in keeping us healthy for lots of reasons. Vitamins A, C and E, leafy green vegetables and oily fish are some of the best ways to help keep our eyes healthy.

Having a healthy body and eyes, might help protect against eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50 years of age in the western world.

Why are these things important?

Leafy green vegetables

Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and spring greens are packed full of lutein. Some people think of lutein are the ‘eye vitamin’ because it might help with preventing damage to the macula. The macula is the central part of the retina at the back of the eye that helps us with things like reading. You can add these leafy greens to lasagne or spaghetti sauce, soups and omelettes to help get more into your diet.

Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables

Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables such as corn, orange, tangerines and sweet peppers are rich in zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin is like lutein in that it is thought to prevent damage to the macula and help prevent the development of AMD. You can add these vegetables to lasagne or spaghetti sauce, curries, and have a piece of fruit as a snack between meals.

Oily fish

Oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids might help decrease the risk of developing AMD and may slow down the progression of this condition. If you are struggling to eat more oily fish, you can try using omega-3 supplements.

Good all-rounder foods

Broccoli truly is rich in vitamins A and C and lutein. It can be added to soups, pasta dishes, and omelettes.

Carrots have always been linked to the eyes and while they may not necessary help you to see better in the dark, they are high in Vitamin A which is important for eye health. Grated carrot in salads, cut up for a lunch box or grated into a spaghetti sauce all taste great.

Eggs are another good source of omega-3 which may help to protect against oxidative damage to the eye help which again helps preventing AMD. Egg yolks also contain zeaxanthin, one of the key nutrients thought to benefit the eyes. Try making egg fried rice or eggy bread.

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Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

Resource number: EYE41

Resource Type: Article

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