The eyes are one of the most vulnerable organs, learn how to protect and keep them healthy.

You’ve heard the term “the eyes are the window to the soul” and while that may be true, they also help us to get through life and like the other organs of the body, they need to be taken care of daily. Diet and some supplements can have real impact on the health of your eyes both today and as we age. The eyes, according to experts, are the organ that’s the most impacted by nutrition. 

Why Eye Health is Important

According to Dr. Bill Sears, a recognized health expert who has appeared on over 100 television shows, the eye is simply an extension of the brain and like the brain, it ages.

“The eye, like the brain, is mostly fat. We’re basically fat heads and fat is prone to damage because it oxidizes. It’s like what happens when you leave fish out all night,” says Dr. Sears. “The foods that are the best for the brain (and the eyes) are antioxidants because they slow this process of fat oxidation."

“The eye, like the brain, is mostly fat. We’re basically fat heads and fat is prone to damage because it oxidizes. It’s like what happens when you leave fish out all night,” says Dr. Sears. “The foods that are the best for the brain (and the eyes) are antioxidants because they slow this process of fat oxidation."

What Foods Are the Best for the Eyes?

Foods that include like zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and vitamin C can all help ward off eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. 

Dr. Sears says that the food that’s most important for eye health is seafood or “see-food” he likes to joke. Specifically, pink seafood like salmon and shrimp are particularly good because they’re high in Astaxanthin, a reddish pigment that’s a carotenoid. Astaxanthin is found in certain algae and causes the pink or red color in the animals that eat it. It’s found in crab legs, salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp, and other seafood.

Astaxanthin is particularly healthy for the eyes because it crosses the blood retinol barrier. “Every tissue is only as healthy as the blood supply to it,” says Dr. Sears who contends that Astaxanthin increases blood flow and also decreases eye fatigue.

Astaxanthin is particularly healthy for the eyes because it crosses the blood retinol barrier. “Every tissue is only as healthy as the blood supply to it,” says Dr. Sears, who contends that Astaxanthin increases blood flow and also decreases eye fatigue.

The Best Foods for Eye Health

  • Salmon
  • Crab legs
  • Trout
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Blueberries
  • Kale
  • Avocado
  • Egg yolks
  • Nuts

The Best Supplements for Eye Health

If you don’t eat seafood, Astaxanthin can also be taken in a supplement form, according to Dr. Sears. Choose high quality supplements like a good organic Astaxanthin grown in Hawaii. Talk to a healthcare professional about dosage. Other supplements to consider include:

According to Max Lugavere, author of Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life, carotenoids like some of those listed above, help to boost eye health and bolster our biological defenses fighting against the free radicals that can do damage to our eyes. 

Dark Deprivation and Eye Health

Darkness deprivation is also a real problem, says Dr. Sears, who contends that our eyes are not supposed to be subject to light throughout the night. “Our eyes are not meant to stare at screens past dusk,” he says. 

After dinner start to dim the lights and avoid looking at screens before bed. At night, if you have to work late and know you’ll be staring at a screen, wear your blue blocking glasses to protect your eyes. During the day, take breaks from screen time every hour or so. Take a few minutes to focus on things that are far away rather than just close up. This exercises our eyes in ways that they may not be used to when staring at screens all day. 

Wear Sunglasses 

Always wear sunglasses that are UV protectant to protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun which can lead to macular degeneration and other eye diseases later. Children should also wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from damage. 

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