Research proves that regular aerobic exercise positively impacts the body as a whole, and that includes your eyes. In other words, exercising your heart is Exercising Your Eyes at the same time.
Because eyes require healthy arteries for oxygen and nutrients, exercising to keep the heart healthy significantly benefits the eyes as well. In addition, eye-specific exercises do offer benefit for certain eye conditions.
In the same way that regular exercise leads to healthier eyes, so too does a healthy diet. Let’s explore that connection further.
How is diet and eye disease connected?
The Link Between Diet and Eye Disease is significant, with more than 20 million Americans over age 40 suffering from cataracts and 10 million over age 60 having age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Cataracts often require surgery for removal, and no cure currently exists for AMD.
However, cataracts can possibly be prevented in the first place and AMD kept from worsening through proper diet and nutrition. This Link Between Diet and Eye Disease includes antioxidants to keep waste from building up on the retina to keep AMD from worsening as well as helping to manage the proteins that can cause cataracts.
So, understanding How Diet and Nutrition Protect Aging Eyes can prevent these all-too-common eye diseases is probably in everyone’s best interest since the connection between them seems clear.
A diet plentiful in green leafy vegetables, fish, colorful fruits and vegetables, and fortified cereals goes a long way in providing the necessary nutrients (antioxidants, Lutein, Vitamin A and Vitamin C) for prevention and reduction of eye disease. In contrast, diets full of refined carbohydrates (white rice, bread and pasta) and high in saturated fat and sugar can possibly increase the risk of AMD, cataracts and other diseases.
Should you take supplements specifically for your eyes?
For most people, the answer to this question is “No.” Following a healthy diet, which usually includes some supplementation, and getting plenty of exercise makes taking eye-specific supplements unnecessary for most people.
However, the National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study says that a supplement containing high doses of vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc and copper may help keep AMD from worsening. Supplementing in this way must be done under the care of a physician since the needed doses would be higher than the recommended daily allowance.
What’s the next step?
Eating healthier and exercising regularly provides the best starting point for most people. Beyond that, learning How Diet and Nutrition Protect Aging Eyes as well as understanding what Foods Keep Your Eyes Healthy can be a terrific second step.
And, of course, regular eye exams along with protecting your eyes from sun damage need to be a part of everyone’s lifelong pursuit of good eye health.