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Degenerating eyesight is one of the major conditions that affect a large number of population in the world today. In India, there are almost 550 million people suffering from some kind of eyesight problems. One of the most important sensory organs, eyes help you to experience and develop senses and feel without touch. Therefore, it is important that you protect them from any harm.

Various factors such as age, genetics, and modern day electronics affect your eyesight, but the certain changes in your lifestyle can help to prevent photodamage along with keeping your retina and cornea healthy. Recent research shows that stress is a major contributing factor to eye disorders. This article discusses all the diet tips and exercises that you can practise so as to improve your eyesight.

  1. Foods to improve eyesight
  2. Training exercises to improve eyesight
  3. Takeaway on how to improve eyesight

Foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals can help in improving your eyesight if included in your day-to-day diet. These foods help in the growth and repair of cells that maintain eyesight. A list of such foods that can help your eyesight to improve naturally have been discussed in detail below.

  1. Carrots for eyesight
  2. Eggs for healthy eyes
  3. Green leafy vegetables for increasing eyesight
  4. Fish to improve eyesight
  5. Whole grains for increasing eyesight
  6. Citrus fruits to improve eyesight
  7. Sweet potato for improved eyesight
  8. Legumes and beans for increased eyesight
  9. Nuts for improved eye health
  10. Dairy products for better eyesight

Carrots for eyesight

Carrots have known to be a go-to food advised by nutritionists to improve eyesight. They are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant and a precursor of Vitamin A. Studies have found that dietary intake of carrots can improve night vision in people and also prevent deterioration of eyesight.

This vitamin helps in enhancing the pigment rhodopsin that is essential for the rods and cone cells of the eyes. Carrots also help prevent oxidative damage and inflammation of these cells, the two main causes of problems related to eyes.

Carrots when consumed raw offer maximum nourishment since cooking them slightly degrades their nutritional value. You can either consume them raw in the form of salads or add them to your soups. However, overeating carrots can prove to be harmful as Vitamin A can be toxic in high doses.

Eggs for healthy eyes

Eggs are regarded as a great food to improve eye health. The egg yolks contain high amounts of Vitamin A, zeaxanthin, lutein, and zinc, which are all crucial for eye health. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye, ie cornea. Lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the incidences of age-related eye conditions as macular degeneration and cataracts. Zinc helps in safeguarding the retina which is essential for improving eyesight.

To keep your eyes healthy, consume one or two whole eggs boiled, poached, or soft-boiled.

Green leafy vegetables for increasing eyesight

Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach are greatly recommended by health experts for improved vision. Broccoli is a vegetable with numerous health benefits. The Vitamins A, E, C, and lutein present in this vegetable makes it an excellent food for your eyes. Broccoli protects visual health by preventing photo and oxidative damage. The benefits of broccoli are most effective when consumed blanched or roasted.

Spinach and kale both contain ample amounts of vitamins and minerals that can work wonders for improving your eyesight. They are also a great source of lutein and zinc both of which are essential for healthy eyes. Spinach and kale can be added to smoothies and soups to keep your eyes healthy.

Fish to improve eyesight

Fish, especially fatty fish are a great source of nutrition to improve eyesight. Fatty fishes are rich sources of omega-3-fatty acids. These fatty acids decrease inflammation by balancing out the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your cells. The area near the retina is also loaded with DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Therefore, consuming fatty fish like salmon and tuna is beneficial for your eye health. Kinds of seafood like oysters also help in improving eye health as they are rich in zinc.

In case you are a vegetarian and do not eat fish, you can consume fish oil supplements after consultation with your doctor. You can grill your fish for the purpose of consumption as frying may decrease its food value.

Whole grains for increasing eyesight

Whole grains can also prove to be very beneficial for eye health as they are a great source of dietary fibre, vitamins, phytonutrients, and minerals. They also contain important nutrients like Vitamin E and zinc. Enrich your diet with whole grains such as quinoa, oats, whole lentils, and brown rice to improve eye health.

Citrus fruits to improve eyesight

The metabolic activity in the eyes is very high and they are in constant need of antioxidants to flush out toxins that are produced as a result of metabolic reactions. Studies have found that consumption of foods rich in citric acid can help prevent eye diseases. Citrus fruits like berries, oranges, and kiwis contain loads of Vitamin C. It is an antioxidant that helps neutralize the harmful oxygen radicals, thus, protecting your eye muscles from damage. Vitamin C also helps to improve the health of the blood vessels that are present in the eyes.

Sweet potato for improved eyesight

Sweet potato and purple sweet potato are also effective in improving vision. The rich colour in these vegetables is due to the presence of pigments like zeaxanthin and lutein. Sweet potatoes contain these antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and flush out toxins. The best way to consume sweet potatoes is either to bake or boil them so as to preserve the nutrients.

Legumes and beans for increased eyesight

Consuming beans and legumes can also help to improve your eyesight. These are great sources of zinc and bioflavonoids which protect the retina and also prevent the risk of developing a cataract. Ensure that your diet includes an adequate amount of kidney beans, lentils, green peas, chickpeas, and sprouts so as to improve your eye health.

Nuts for improved eye health

Nuts like almonds are good for improving eye health. Almonds contain Vitamin E which helps in guarding against unstable molecules that target healthy tissues of the eye. Consuming regular amounts of Vitamin E can help prevent a lot of eye diseases. It is best to soak the almonds in water overnight and consume them in the morning to achieve the most effective results.

Dairy products for better eyesight

Dairy products like milk and yoghurt can be very beneficial for the eyes. They contain Vitamin A and the mineral zinc as well. Vitamin A protects the cornea while zinc helps to transport the vitamin from the liver to the eyes. Zinc is present abundantly in the eye, especially in the retina and the choroid, the vascular tissue lying under the retina. This important mineral also helps with night vision as well as the prevention of cataracts. It is advisable to take a glass of milk once a day at least. Yoghurt can be consumed along with any meal.

Improving your diet is one way of going about to improve the health of your eyes. Apart from this, there are certain training exercises that you can practice to improve the health of your eyes. These exercises help to rebuild eye cells and prevent them from wearing off which, in turn, improves the eyesight and overall health of the eyes. Exercises as such have been described in detail below.

  1. Swinging exercise for better eyesight
  2. Palming exercise for improved eyesight
  3. Eye massage to improve eyesight
  4. Blinking for healthy eyes

Swinging exercise for better eyesight

This exercise for the whole body also relieves fatigue and stress, improves vision, and increases the mobility of the eyes. To perform this exercise, stand looking straight ahead, with your feet positioned about 12 inches apart. Now, rotate your body to the left, putting your weight onto your left foot while allowing your right heel to rise from the floor at the same time. Keep your shoulders and neck straight. Then swing to the opposite side and shift your weight to your other foot. Try not to focus your sight on any particular object. Be relaxed and try to repeat the procedure completing the swing from side to side 100 times. You can perform this exercise twice a day. Swings before bedtime can prevent eyestrain from occurring during sleep.

Palming exercise for improved eyesight

To perform this exercise, as the name suggests, you make use of your palms. Close your eyes and then place your palms above them, crossing the fingers of both hands on your forehead. However, do not apply any pressure on the eyelids with your palms. Ideally, you are supposed to see a field of intense blackness, which is indicative a state of perfect relaxation. Illusions of light, bright colour, or grey patches indicate that you are tensed to a certain degree. Also, try not to concentrate on seeing the blackness, as the effort itself is likely to produce strain. Instead, consider visualising a pleasant memory, one that puts your mind at ease while keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. By increasing the length and frequency of palming, your eyes are more trained to reduce muscle tension, with subsequent benefit to your sight.

Eye massage to improve eyesight

The eye muscles also tend to get sore, and a great massage can go a long way to help improve eyesight. Massage your temples by using your thumb knuckles in small circles, about 20 times in one direction and 20 in the other. Repeat the same process above the mid-point of the eyebrows at the forehead, and then below the eyes on both sides of the bridge of the nose.

Blinking for healthy eyes

One should practise the habit of frequent and effortless blinking. Blinking performs two vital functions: it lubricates the eyes and cleanses them with tears, and it also helps in relaxing the eye muscles.

Now that you are aware of all the right ingredients and exercises that can help in improving the eyesight, you should ideally choose the appropriate diet and also include certain training exercises in your lifestyle in order to achieve healthy eyes.

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References

  1. Megan Migliozzi et al. Lentil and Kale: Complementary Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources to Combat Micronutrient and Calorie Malnutrition . Nutrients. 2015 Nov; 7(11): 9285–9298. PMID: 26569296
  2. Danielle Swanson, Robert Block, and Shaker A. Mousa. Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA: Health Benefits Throughout Life. Adv Nutr. 2012 Jan; 3(1): 1–7. PMID: 22332096
  3. Zhibin Liu et al. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of the prebiotic effect of raw and roasted almonds (Prunus amygdalus) . J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Mar 30; 96(5): 1836–1843. PMID: 26749248
  4. National Eye Institute. Eye Health Tips. National Institutes of Health
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Keep an Eye on Your Vision Health
  6. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; 10 tips for good eye health