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Improve your Eyesight with proper food

Everybody knows that we should eat healthy food and we should eat in moderation. But we all have our own idea about what healthy food is, especially now with food industry trying to throw in the labels some eye-catching words like "organic", "probiotic", "rich in fiber", "whole grain". Look at the ingredients, if that whole grain bread contains 50 ingredients you never heard of, with names associated with chemical lab - this whole grain bread is as good as organic fries. Now, if you ask me what's wrong with organic fries - you have a long way to go.
Or what do you think "probiotic yogurt" should contain? Yogurt is prepared from milk and bacterial culture, hence all yogurts are probiotic by definition and should contain exactly that - milk and bacterial culture, nothing else.
Here is what Jack LaLanne said about food:

"If man makes it, I don’t eat it! You need to make good health a hobby. Would you get your dog up in the morning and give him a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and a doughnut? Well, how about human beings? They get up in the morning with a cup of coffee and a doughnut and they wonder why they are sick and tired and fat. Just ten seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips!"

And not just hips, toxins we eat are manifested in our body as diseases, including eyesight problems. If you have problems with eyesight (excluding physical trauma), you likely have other health issues and once you stop abusing your body it will recover.
Take a look, for example, at cataract - a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. The cause of cataract is denaturation of lens protein - process of losing protein structure by application of external factors (trauma, toxins, UV light). Denaturation is reversible - the proteins can regain their native state - if and when the denaturing influence is removed because all the information needed for proteins to assume their normal state was inscribed in the primary structure of the protein.

Now that we agree not to eat any junk, let's find what food is the most beneficial for our eyes. Scientific research shows that our eyes need vitamins, especially antioxidant vitamins A, C and E to be included in everyday diet.

Vitamin A

Is a vitamin that is needed by the retina in the form of light-absorbing molecule retinal. This molecule is essential for both vision under low light conditions and color vision, it also helps keep your eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist. Vitamin A deficiency is rare, but it can cause night blindness, eye inflammation, diarrhea and other problems. Overconsumption of vitamin A can cause nausea, irritability and blurred vision in its mild form. In addition, the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet can turn orange if a person has a high intake of Vitamin A. This is why your diet has to be well balanced and include all of the needed vitamins.

Vitamin A can be found in 2 most common forms in food:

1) Animal based - retinol - it is found in animal or fish liver, whole milk, some fortified foods.

2) Plant based - carotenes, such as beta-carotene that are converted in our body to retinal.

RDA for Vitamin A for adults is ~900 μg/day and should be increased to 1200 μg/day during lactation period. Upper limit is around 3000 μg/day. The list below demonstrates top sources of vitamin A. Please, keep in mind that the best way of consumption of the produce is to eat it in its raw condition

Plant sourceAmount (μg / 100g)
Liver (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish), cod liver oil6500
Carrot835
Broccoli leaf800
Sweet potato709
Butter684
Kale681
Spinach469
Pumpkin400
Collard greens333
Cheddar cheese265
Cantaloupe/Melon169
spinach469

Carrot juice takes the crown for vegetarians, but if you combine it with beetroot juice and parsley you will get one of the best remedies for the eyesight (3 carrots, 1 small beetroot and 1 teaspoon of fresh parsley juice).

Lutein

It is one of naturally occurring carotenoids. Found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, lutein is used by organisms as an antioxidant and for blue light absorption.
Lutein was found to be concentrated in the macula, an oval-shaped pigmented yellow spot near the center of the retina responsible for central vision. The theory is that lutein helps keep the eyes safe from oxidative stress and the high-energy photons of blue light. Various research studies have shown that a direct relationship exists between lutein intake and pigmentation in the eye. Several studies also show that an increase in macula pigmentation decreases the risk for eye diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

RDA for lutein is 4000-8000 μg/day. Below is the table of vegetables richest in lutein/zeaxeathanin:
Plant sourceAmount(μg / 100g)
Kale18200
spinach12198
Peas2593
zucchini2125
Brussels sprouts1590
Pistachios1205
Broccoli1121
Corn644

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for our body. Like vitamin E being an anti-oxidant reduces the risk of cataract and macular degeneration. Vitamin C is found in
Plant sourceAmount(mg / 100g)
Rose hip2000
Gooseberry445
Blackcurrant200
Red pepper190
Parsley130
Guava100
Kiwifruit90
Broccoli90
Loganberry80
Redcurrant80
Brussels sprouts80
Lychee70

Vitamin E

This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E deficiency causes neurological problems in the eyes and the whole body due to poor nerve conduction. Since it is important in the formation of red blood cells and helps the body to use vitamin K - deficiency can cause anemia. RDA for vitamin E is 15mg/day for adults. Best source of vitamin E are nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

Food Milligrams (mg)
per serving
Percent DV*
Wheat germ oil, 1 tablespoon 20.3 100
Almonds, 1 ounce 7.4 40
Sunflower seeds, 1 ounce 6.0 30
Sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon 5.6 28
Safflower oil, 1 tablespoon 4.6 25
Hazelnuts, 1 ounce 4.3 22
Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons 2.9 15
Peanuts, 1 ounce 2.2 11
Corn oil, 1 tablespoon 1.9 10
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup 1.9 10
Broccoli, chopped, boiled, ½ cup 1.2 6
Soybean oil, 1 tablespoon 1.1 6
Kiwi, 1 medium 1.1 6
Mango, sliced, ½ cup 0.9 5
Tomato, raw, 1 medium 0.8 4
Spinach, raw, 1 cup 0.6 4

Below are a few salads that are loaded with vitamins and are perfect for eyesight improvement. They are all easy to make and do not require more than 5 minutes of putting ingredients together.

Kale Salad

  • 1 Head of Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Yellow Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Red Pepper
  • White Onion
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon
  • Preparation: Chop kale, red pepper, white onions and cilantro. Cut carrots lengthwise and tomatoes in half. Sprinkle all of the ingredients with squeezed lemon and olive oil. Mix up and enjoy!

    Lentil Salad

  • Kale
  • Sprouted Lentils
  • Green onions
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Soak lentils overnight to let them sprout. Cut kale into thin pieces, chop onions, parsley and dill. Add sprouted lentils. Add sea salt and pepper if you desire. Sprinkle with olive oil.

    Carrot Salad

  • 2 lb carrots
  • 2 C parsley
  • ¼ C Hemp Oil
  • 3 T Lemon Juice
  • 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Pink Salt to taste
  • 1 t cumin
  • ½ t coriander
  • 3 T anise hyssop (optional)
  • Pumpkin seeds to sprinkle
  • The 2 lbs of carrots are chopped finely with the parsley using the s blade of a food processer. Then all the other ingredients are added together in a bowl. The anise hyssop is also optional and can be finely chopped

    For more great recipes visit my Raw Food Recipes section. These recipes are not only great treat for your stomach, but also for the whole body.

    References


    1. "National Nutrient Database". Nutrient Data Laboratory of the US Agricultural Research Service
    2. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group (October 2001). "A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8"
    3. National Institute of Health. "Vitamin E Fact Sheet"
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