The Eyes Have It
Good eye health is a vital part of our well-being, yet we often take it for granted or assume we can do little to improve it. In fact there are many factors that can have a positive (or negative) impact on eye health – and diet is the first place to start.
NOT JUST CARROTS
While it’s true that the beta-carotene found in carrots is beneficial to your eyes, there are many other nutrients that are also essential. The two star players are lutein and zeaxanthin. Termed “macular pigments”, they are most prominent in the lens and macula regions of the eye and have been shown to play a prominent role in maintaining eye health. Lutein effectively controls free-radical generation and the resulting oxidative damage through its ability to filter out blue wavelengths of light (such as UV rays) which cause damage to the eyes as well as to the skin.
Where can you find lutein and zeaxanthin? They are most abundant in yellow, orange and green plant foods. Goji berries, kiwifruit, tangerines, persimons, red and yellow peppers, spinach, pumpkin and kale are all great sources, as are egg yolks. Marigold flower petals are an amazing source of lutein and zeaxanthin – branch out and add these to salads.
TIP: An extra-potent way to maximize the eye-health benefits of carrots is to drink their juice followed by a shot of cod liver oil.
Open fires, windy days, seasonal allergies and central heating can make our eyes feel drier in winter. If this affects you, try upping your intake of vitamin B, essential fatty acids and potassium.
The proverbial “cup of tea and a lie down” cures many ills, but did you know that teabags themselves could benefit your eyes?
Both Red Seal Raspberry Leaf teabags and Red Seal Chamomile teabags can be moistened with warm water and used as compresses several times a day. These kitchen-cupboard wonders can help with eyes that are swollen, bloodshot, itchy and irritated.
Simply pour hot water over one or two teabags and steep them for three to five minutes. Squeeze out the moisture and pop them into the fridge for 20 minutes for a cool compress (much less for a warm compress).
Then lie down, place them over your eyes and relax. Bonus: you also get to drink and enjoy the tea!
WHAT CAUSES TWITCHING EYE?
Eye strain, high stress levels and lack of sleep can cause these infuriating tics and spasms. Magnesium, which works on relaxing muscles, is the most popular remedy for this ailment – try Red Seal Magnesium which also contains potassium.
EYE UP THESE SUPPLEMENTS
Even the best diet won’t always cover all the bases, so consider the following extra ammunition to support eye health:
Red Seal Zinc B6 and Magnesium – supports eye health and blood circulation to the eyes and can assist with dry eyes
Red Seal Selenium Plus – antioxidant protection plus vitamins A, C and E
Red Seal Cod Liver Oil, Red Krill Oil and Fish Oil – these supply plenty of omega-3 fatty acids essential for eye health
Red Seal Vitamin B complex – a great all-round supplement for those who are stressed, as stress affects eye health
By Julie Fergusson, Red Seal Naturopath
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
Credit: Life & Leisure