Eat Right for a Healthy Retina

Eat Right for a Healthy Retina
The retina plays a vital role in helping you see. Return the favor by eating the right food and see how well your retina performs in the most challenging times.

Ever wondered what goes on at the back of your eye? Well, the retina is what “goes on” at the back of your eye. You see not with the front, but with the back part of your area. A thin tissue that might not exactly fit with everyone’s idea of the main player in enabling vision, but the retina is actually composed of photoreceptor cells that is responsible for vision.

Now there are quite a number of vision problems that an individual can experience as he or she ages, such as a degenerative disease that is known as  macular degeneration, wherein the macula becomes torn and therefore causes blindness. There is also an eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa that can cause night blindness or peripheral vision loss.

There are many more conditions that can affect your vision just by not taking care of your retina, so make an effort to incorporate the right type of foods into your daily diet. Here are a few that you can easily get from your local grocer (for fruits and veggies), meat shop (for chicken, pork, beef, and what not), or pharmacy (supplements).

Foods that are Rich in Antioxidants

There are plenty of vitamins and minerals that contain a significant amount of antioxidants. What these nutrients are famous for is their ability to help fight off free radicals, which are aggressive, reactive atoms and molecules that harm normal cells, including the ones that make up the retinas. Popular vitamins A, C and E, especially in the form of beta-carotene and selenium are good sources of antioxidants that help improve retinal health and protect the eyes from free radicals.

Remember to stick to food sources as much as possible as the antioxidants found in food have shown better results in terms of helping maintain good eye health than nutritional supplements, according to the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

  • For vitamin C, try to include citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, in your drinks. Slice some bell peppers, and chop some broccoli for your main course.
  • For beta-carotene, shop for fruits and vegetables that have a yellow, orange, or red hue.
  • Snack on some sunflower seeds and almonds while watching your favorite movie or give yourself a hefty serving of leafy greens until you get a sufficient amount of vitamin E.
  • For your daily dose of selenium, make sure you eat plenty of seafood and meat, whether it’s beef, pork, veal, or chicken. Organ meat like liver are also rich in selenium.
  • Known more for their brain-boosting, cholesterol-clearing power, the omega-3 fatty acids are also found in  retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPEs), and they help prevent retinal cell damage from the destructive free radicals. The omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA can be found in salmon, sardines, herring, halibut, and tuna. Flaxseed and walnuts have the omega-3 fatty acid known as ALA, which the body can process and convert into EPA and DHA.
  • Zinc is a mineral that can help protect aging retinal tissues from damages caused by too much exposure to light or inflammation. Beware though because it is more effective to eat foods that have zinc instead of taking supplements. Meat, poultry, oysters and other seafood, liver, legumes and whole grains are excellent sources of zinc.