Healthy eyes can only exist in healthy body, and indeed, your eyes are amirror of your general physical health. In order to maintain your eye health, you must ensure that you are healthy overall, and proper diet and regular exercise as important for the same. In fact, proper nutrition can not only keep your eyes healthy, it can also ward of serious eye diseases like ctaract, glaucoma, age related macular degenration and dry eyes. In fact, nutritional deificnecy can lead to nigh blindess in children, and serious ocular surface disease in all age groups, which can even cause blindness due to corneal melting. These serious eye conditions may be avoided if you include foods that contain all the require micronutrients in proper quantities, these include a range of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and antioxidants.
The essential micronutrients required for continued eye health include the following.:
vitamins A, C, E
omega-3 fatty acids
A deficiency of any of these can result in poor eye health. Since most of these nutrients are derived from our food, improper food habits can lead to diseases. These are the food habits you should avoid for healthy eyes.
Junk food: The biggest enemy of a balanced diet is sugar-laden junk food. We all prefer rich pizzas and pastries to a plate of steamed vegetables, which in reality are laden with nutrients required for eye health. A balanced diet consists of a variety of grains, proteins, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. In fact, a plate that is full of fresh fruits and vegetables of all colours, will usually provide all the micronutrients needed. The food to be avoided includes those that are processed, contain saturated fats, or are high in sugar.
Lack of Omega 3 fatty acids and essential micronutrients in diet: Several studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may help protect adult eyes from age related macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome. Essential fatty acids have also been said to reduce the risk of progression of glaucoma. Other micronutrients including beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and copper are alos said to be protective and known to further reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Good sources of omega 3 fatty acids include oily fish like salmon, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts and dark green leafy vegetables. Not including these in your diet can put you at risk of eye diseases. To reduce your intake of omega-6s, avoid fried and highly processed foods. High cooking temperatures create harmful trans-fatty acids, or "trans-fats." These retard the absorption of omega 3 fatty acids, and so you must avoid deep fried food.
Smoking: Smoking can cause several of major health problems, including heart disease, stroke and cancer. Smoking can also increase the risk of several eye diseases. These include:
Smokers have a significantly increased risk of developing a cataract compared with non-smokers.
Smokers are at a three times higher risk of developing age related macular degeneration. In fact, in women this risk is even higher than in men.
Tobacco smoke can irritate eyes worsen dry eye, even in passive smokers. This is especially critical in people who wear contact lenses. In a polluted city like Delhi, it aggravates problems of the ocular surface manifold.