Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava
Eye-Opening ‘EYE FACTS’
- Sneezing with your eyes open is impossible
- The optic nerves in your eyes contain more than two million nerve cells, which makes it the second most complex organ, after the brain
- Eyes can detect a candle flame burning approximately 1.7 miles away
- Eyes can easily distinguish approximately 10 million different colours
- Do you have a fear of the eyes? This condition is termed ‘Ommatophobia’
- A fingerprint can have 40 unique characteristics, but the iris (the coloured part of your eyes) has 256
- You just blinked, didn’t you? An average person blinks around 12 times per minute
- The eye muscles contract at the speed of 1/100th of a second, making them the fastest contracting muscles in the body
The eye is one of the most important and fastest organs in the body as it can focus on approximately 50 different objects, every second. The human eye consists of several parts, and each part contributes to your sight as they detect light and send signals through the optic nerve to the brain.
Opting for foods that are beneficial for eye health is crucial as amongst the five senses, (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin) the eyes are the most important ones, which helps us identify around 80% of all impressions, through sight.
Most people tend to neglect the importance of healthy eyesight by prolonged UV rays exposure from laptops, mobiles, or television, which increases the chances of compromised eyesight. Some of the most common complications that can affect your eyes include:
- Cataract: It is a condition in which vision becomes cloudy. Its symptoms include blurred, foggy or cloudy vision, sight problems in dim light (night blindness), seeing halos around light, and vision loss.
- Diabetic retinopathy: This condition develops when the blood vessels in the tissue of the retina are damaged. One major risk factor of this condition is uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Its symptoms include gradually distorted vision, impaired colour vision, patchy vision, and vision loss.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a group of eye ailments that develop when the nerve connecting the eyes to the brain is damaged. The condition usually arises due to high eye pressure. Its symptoms include severe eye pain, eye redness, headache on the side of the affected eye, blurry vision, seeing halos around light, dilated pupils, light sensitivity, and nausea or vomiting.
- Conjunctivitis: Also known as eye flu, conjunctivitis is a condition that develops due to infection of the outer membrane of the eyeball and the inner eyelid. Its symptoms include pink or red colour in the white of eyes, increased tear production, a feeling that something is in the eye (or an urge to often rub the eye), swelling of eyelids, itching or burning sensation, mucus discharge, and crusting of eyelids or lashes (prominently in the morning).
- Eye floaters: Eye floaters is a condition that develops due to ageing or excessive eye rubbing. Its symptoms include seeing shapes like rings, cobwebs, threadlike strands, squiggly lines, and black or grey dots when looking at any source of light.
For good vision, you require certain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, vitamin A, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acid, etc., as they can prevent the occurrence of several eye diseases and also protect the eye from age-related muscle degeneration. So if your diet lacks these nutrients, it’s time you should consider modifying it with a focus on eye health.
In this article, we bring you the top seven natural foods that can help in promoting your eye health and reducing the chances of developing eye complications.
Whether consumed raw or as fresh juice, carrots are loaded with beta-carotene which aid in preventing the deterioration of eye muscles. Consuming carrots regularly also helps in maintaining good eyesight even when you get older. Some other fruits rich in beta-carotene and vitamin B-12 that are significantly beneficial for your eyesight include oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits.
Bell peppers have antioxidant properties and are rich in vitamin A, which helps control and prevent the damaging of the eye cells. Bell peppers also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which prevent the eyes from blue light radiating from the screens of electronic devices and they also act as sunblock for the eyes. One important point to remember is that bell peppers are fat-soluble, which means that they should be consumed with healthy fats.
The essentials for eyesight, lutein and zeaxanthin are often found in the same food, and one such nutritional food is egg, especially the yolk part. Eggs are also rich in other nutrients deemed good for eyesight, which includes magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Thus, consuming eggs daily can help in improving your eyesight.
Spinach is rich in lutein, which protects against cell damage in the eyes, thus making this dark green leafy vegetable quite beneficial for eyesight. The cells present in the eyes are extremely sensitive and fragile. Consuming spinach daily makes eye muscles stronger and also helps prevent eye infections.
Broccoli is rich in antioxidants, which makes it a great source of vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for healthy eyesight. You can eat broccoli raw as salad, sauteed, or steamed, to absorb its nutritional value and protect your eyes from complications.
Nuts & dry fruits
Nuts are great sources of vitamin E which helps in preventing cataract and eye muscle degeneration. Snacking on nuts like almonds, apricots, cashew, walnuts, etc. not only reduces the risk to your eyes but also promotes your heart health as well.
The health benefits of eating sweet potatoes are still lesser-known to many. Along with mild sweetness, sweet potatoes also store several vitamins including vitamin A, beta carotene, potassium, vitamin C, and fibre, etc. which help in restoring damaged eye cells and preventing future eyesight complications.
Last but not the least, certain lifestyle changes can also help in improving eyesight and preventing future eye complications, these include:
By eating foods rich in nutrients essential for eye health and following a healthy lifestyle you can surely promote the health of your eyes. However, there are chances that despite taking these steps, you might still end up with an eye complication due to a variety of underlying diseases including diabetes.
Thus, apart from consuming the above-mentioned foods and following a healthy lifestyle, you must also opt for preventive diagnostic tests to identify complications (if any) and take measures to protect your overall well-being.
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