Eyesight: The 79p food that could ‘protect the retina’ – expert advice

The state of Britain's eyesight

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From ageing to genetics, there are various factors affecting your sight. And what you eat is one of them. Dr Brian Wachler spoke to Express.co.uk about the foods that can boost your eye health, including a 79p green.

Like any aspect of your health, eyesight is individual.

Some have been battling a less sharp image their whole life while others may come across a sudden problem later on.

Eye diseases are one factor in declining vision.

Dr Wachler, who is a medical reviewer at All About Vision, explained that even though certain conditions can be “age-related”, others can be aided by lifestyle changes.

He said: “Age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts commonly cause impaired vision and blindness in older adults.

“But lifestyle changes, including good nutrition, could help delay or prevent certain eye problems.”

When it comes to diet for your eyesight, the principles are pretty much the same as in any other diet.

“Fresh, colourful” fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone for boosting eye health, the doctor shared.

But one particular food with promising eye benefits is spinach.

Spinach is packed with fibre, vitamin A, C and K, iron, folate and potassium.

And the leafy green is also an “excellent food source” of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Dr Wachler explained: “Lutein and zeaxanthin are plant pigments called carotenoids that have been shown to protect the retina from oxidative changes caused by ultraviolet light.”

He added: “Choose dark green vegetables to obtain the most antioxidants, which protect your eyes by reducing damage related to oxidising agents (free radicals) that can cause age-related eye diseases.”

As every healthy diet should be varied and contain at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, you’ll be glad to know that other foods also offer lutein and zeaxanthin.

The eye expert shared that kale, sweet corn, peas and broccoli can also do the trick.

On the topic of the diet, he added: “It’s also important to avoid foods with refined sugars as they cause spikes in blood sugar levels which can accelerate cataract formation if diabetes develops.”

In case you’re not familiar, cataracts occur when your eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy.

Diabetes can also cause you to have blurred vision as this is one of the warning signs of the blood sugar condition.

The doctor also shared that staying hydrated also plays a part in healthy eyesight as it “may reduce irritation from dry eyes”.

He added: “Round out a healthy diet with low-fat dairy products and healthy beverages such as 100 percent vegetable juices, fruit juices, non-caffeinated herbal teas and water.”

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