Eye health: Nutritionist reveals foods that protect your eyes
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It’s no secret that a healthy diet is the cornerstone of a healthy life. And your eyes are not immune to the effects of colourful fruit and veg either. What’s more, certain foods could help reduce your risk of eye infections that can be more prevalent during the colder months, according to an expert.
You might have noticed that freezing temperatures are straining your eyes, leaving them dry and tired.
However, colder months also mark a time when bacterial and viral infections thrive.
Because some eye infections are spread through direct contact, they can be passed around by people battling winter diseases.
Fortunately, a healthy and colourful diet could come to the rescue and help “ward off” eye infections.
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Pharmacist, Sultan Dajani from GoldenEye, said: “Foods that help improve eye health and reduce the risk of conjunctivitis are those containing a range of vitamins and minerals, particularly antioxidants such as vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin E, vitamin A, carotenoids, zinc, copper, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
“Therefore, it is important to eat as healthy a diet as possible, with plenty of vegetables and fruit, wholegrains, beans and lentils, a few nuts, lean red meat (if liked), fish, including oily fish, and dairy or alternatives.”
While what you include in your diet is very important, what you cut down on also plays a role.
The expert recommended taking it easy with sugary and fatty processed foods.
As the pharmacist suggested, the reason why this food protocol is so potent comes down to the nutrients it packs.
Dajani said: “Vitamin A, for example, has long been known for being important for eye health.
“It helps to keep the membranes (thin skins) within the eye healthy. And through a beneficial impact on immune health, it can help to reduce the risk of eye infection.
“The other nutrients listed above also contribute to immune health.
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“They also act as antioxidants and can reduce inflammatory responses in the eye (and throughout the body).”
All you need to do is stick to a healthy diet for the long term, ensuring you get your five-a-day while keeping it balanced.
The pharmacist recommended including plenty of protein – think eggs, dairy, meat, poultry, fish, and beans – to improve your satiety and reduce hunger for naughty snacks and ultra-processed foods.
What’s more, you could start reaping the benefits of this healthy food protocol in a matter of weeks.
Dajani added: “If you are not used to eating healthily, it will take time to incorporate these foods into your diet.
“But as you increasingly eat a healthy diet, you should notice a difference to your overall health, which will include your eyes, within a few weeks.”
Once you develop conjunctivitis or other eye infections, it’s crucial to treat them “immediately”.
“For acute bacterial conjunctivitis, consult a pharmacist who may prescribe eye drops, containing the antibiotic chloramphenicol,” the expert added.
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