|By Joanne Kwok
Dietitian and Nutritionist
Although the second national lockdown has come to the end, new government guidance states that people should still work from home wherever possible. Whether it be work related, movies, video games or calling your loved ones, we are spending more time staring at screens. What more can we do apart from eating blueberries and carrots to optimise our eye health?
Nutrients such as anthocyanin, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids plays a role in eye health.
Blueberries are known for keeping our eyes healthy. Did you know that strawberries, for example, are also high in vitamin C and antioxidants? Other fresh fruits and veggies high in vitamin C includes sweet peppers, broccoli, kiwifruit, and citrus fruits.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which helps to block ‘blue light’ from screens and UV light. Kale, spinach and broccoli are some good options to start with. Remember to have these with small amounts of fat to aid absorption.
Nuts & Seeds
Seeds such as peanuts, almonds and sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids. Having these as part of a balanced diet also helps with heart health. Limit to only a small handful (30g) of unsalted varieties per day as these are high in calories.
Salmon is one of the popular fish of choice in England and is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids. This helps with protecting our eyes and eases dry eye symptoms. Other fish rich in omega 3 includes sardines and mackerels. Aim to include 2 portions of oily fish as part of a balanced diet.
Good sources of Zinc
Eggs are a convenient source of protein, also containing zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin. Seafood, beef and tofu are also good sources of zinc.
Please note that the above is intended for general advice and does not replace a balanced healthy diet and the need to seek advice from a healthcare practitioner. Speak to your doctor or dietitian prior to taking any of the above especially if you are currently taking medication or are following a particular diet.