As you’re sitting in front of a screen, reading this newsletter, are you reading with optimal lighting conditions? Is the screen size maximized and yet you find yourself squinting to read it clearly? If so, you’re like many of your fellow Americans.
We seem to spend too many hours a day reading in bad light, staring at computer screens, watching TV and squinting at our smart phones and tablets. Aside from eliminating all screen time, do you ever wonder what you can do to help support your eye health?
Here are a few eye facts:
- Humans need specific nutrients to provide support for healthy eyes.**
- Older people concerned with maintaining healthy vision should consider proactive eye nutrition.**
- Antioxidants contribute to reducing oxidative stress.**
- You’re reading this on a screen! (Are you squinting?)
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Your eyes are one of the most sensitive organs you have and proper nutrients are essential to give your eyes the support they need.** Certain nutrients can help support your eye health, and we’re not talking about that old myth that promotes eating vast amounts of carrots to improve vision. While it is true that carrots contain beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant, it is not true that consuming lots of carrots has any effect on vision. In fact, eating too many carrots may temporarily turn your skin orange – really!
Some important nutrients to consider when you are thinking of supporting healthy vision are Lutein (loo-teen) and Zeaxanthin (zeea-ZAN-thin).** These two nutrients are valuable, effective antioxidants.**
Antioxidants fight free radicals in your body.** If there is an excess of free radicals in your body, it may lead to some negative reactions like the premature aging of cells, including those that support your vision.** When free radicals are left unchecked, they may damage cells and proteins in your body!**
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Not to worry. You can help take care of your eyes by turning on a reading lamp, wearing UV blocking sunglasses when outdoors and getting plenty of eye-health nutrients in your diet.**
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In case you haven’t heard, that means you should be eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are found in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, as well as in carrots, squash, orange peppers, tangerines, collard greens, turnips, broccoli, and persimmons. The Lutein to Zeaxanthin ratio in the average diet is about 5:1.
If you cannot support your eye nutrition through fruits and vegetables alone, consider taking a supplement that contains ingredients for eyesight and macular health.** Taking an additional supplement is a great way to obtain the eye benefits Lutein and Zeaxanthin provide.**