WELLBEING

Ten Foods to Improve Your Child's Eye Health

By Luke Arundel

Posted  June 22 2017 | 0 Shares

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Carrots aren’t the only food that can help keep your child’s eye health at its optimum level. Did you know that a lot of the food you serve to boost immunity, gut health, and energy are also great for your little one’s peepers?

Optometrist Luke Arundel explains how the following foods help keep your outlook rose-tinted:

  1. Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your body to produce new cells, muscles, nerves, and organs. They also have potent anti-inflammatory properties. They benefit our bodies for many important functions, including producing tears to keep the eyes moist and healthy, reducing dry eye syndrome. Cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are rich sources of omega-3s, or you can get a good supply through supplements such as fish oil capsules or bottles.

Read: Food for positive mental health

  1. Leafy green vegetables: Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and bok choy (a.k.a. pak choy) are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for good retina health. Broccoli, avocados, and peas are also good sources of this powerful combination of antioxidants.
  1. Eggs: Eggs are also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin. One study found that when subjects ate one egg per day, lutein levels increased by 26%, while zeaxanthin levels increased by 38%. Eggs are also a source of Vitamin A, an important contributor to eye health.
  1. Whole grains: Whole grains contain Vitamin E, zinc, and niacin, which can all improve eye health by reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Replacing refined carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (GI) such as white bread or pasta with whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice. and oats is a great idea for eye health. 
  1. Nuts: Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, whichever take your fancy, are excellent sources of Vitamin E and minerals such as zinc that help keep your eyes healthy and may decrease your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

 Read: How diet intervention helped my child’s autism recovery

  1. Berries and citrus fruits – Oranges, lemons, red capsicum and berries are high in Vitamin C – a water soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant that helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea of the eye. Vitamin C also promotes healthy bones, skin and blood vessels, including the delicate capillaries in the retina.
  1. Sunflower seeds: Excellent sources of Vitamin E and zinc that can help to keep up your eye health.
  1. Garlic: Garlic contains a compound called allicin which has potent medicinal properties, which can enhance blood flow and boost the immune system, for overall health benefits.
  1. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and flavonoids, which can help circulation and blood flow in the retinas. 70% cocoa is especially helpful.
  1. Carrots! (Or, more accurately, any colourful fruit and vegetables): Perhaps this is where the part about carrots started. Foods such as carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, pumpkin, corn, and cantaloupe are excellent sources of Vitamins A and C. Carotenoids – the compounds that give these fruits and vegetables their yellow, orange and red pigments – are thought to help decrease the risk of eye disease.

While this list is great to stick to for a healthy overall diet, the added implications for eye health are a positive bonus.

The absolute best way to ensure you stay on top of your eye health, however, is to have regular eye examinations with your optometrist.

Read: Top 10 non-dairy sources of calcium

Reviewed by Luke Arundel 22 June 2017 references
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This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

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Ten Foods to Improve Your Child’s Eye Health

WELLBEING

Carrots aren’t the only food that can help keep your child’s eye health at its optimum level. Did you know that a lot of the food you serve to boost immunity, gut health, and energy are also great for your little one’s peepers?

Optometrist Luke Arundel explains how the following foods help keep your outlook rose-tinted:

  1. Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your body to produce new cells, muscles, nerves, and organs. They also have potent anti-inflammatory properties. They benefit our bodies for many important functions, including producing tears to keep the eyes moist and healthy, reducing dry eye syndrome. Cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are rich sources of omega-3s, or you can get a good supply through supplements such as fish oil capsules or bottles.

Read: Food for positive mental health

  1. Leafy green vegetables: Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and bok choy (a.k.a. pak choy) are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for good retina health. Broccoli, avocados, and peas are also good sources of this powerful combination of antioxidants.
  1. Eggs: Eggs are also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin. One study found that when subjects ate one egg per day, lutein levels increased by 26%, while zeaxanthin levels increased by 38%. Eggs are also a source of Vitamin A, an important contributor to eye health.
  1. Whole grains: Whole grains contain Vitamin E, zinc, and niacin, which can all improve eye health by reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Replacing refined carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (GI) such as white bread or pasta with whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice. and oats is a great idea for eye health. 
  1. Nuts: Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, whichever take your fancy, are excellent sources of Vitamin E and minerals such as zinc that help keep your eyes healthy and may decrease your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

 Read: How diet intervention helped my child’s autism recovery

  1. Berries and citrus fruits – Oranges, lemons, red capsicum and berries are high in Vitamin C – a water soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant that helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea of the eye. Vitamin C also promotes healthy bones, skin and blood vessels, including the delicate capillaries in the retina.
  1. Sunflower seeds: Excellent sources of Vitamin E and zinc that can help to keep up your eye health.
  1. Garlic: Garlic contains a compound called allicin which has potent medicinal properties, which can enhance blood flow and boost the immune system, for overall health benefits.
  1. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and flavonoids, which can help circulation and blood flow in the retinas. 70% cocoa is especially helpful.
  1. Carrots! (Or, more accurately, any colourful fruit and vegetables): Perhaps this is where the part about carrots started. Foods such as carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, pumpkin, corn, and cantaloupe are excellent sources of Vitamins A and C. Carotenoids – the compounds that give these fruits and vegetables their yellow, orange and red pigments – are thought to help decrease the risk of eye disease.

While this list is great to stick to for a healthy overall diet, the added implications for eye health are a positive bonus.

The absolute best way to ensure you stay on top of your eye health, however, is to have regular eye examinations with your optometrist.

Read: Top 10 non-dairy sources of calcium

Reviewed by Lisa Kelly 22 June 2017
references
  • current version

  • PEER REVIEWER

  • Doc id

  • next review

This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

make a comment

1 comments

latest articles

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MEET THE EXPERTS

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