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Sponsored feature: Vital foods to help your eyesight

Did you know that there are dozens of everyday foods that can help your eye health? The benefits of good nutrition are well known for general health, but experts suggest that eyesight can be helped by adding a range of certain foods to your diet.

Why not add a few leafy greens, some garlic and some dark chocolate to your diet this January? More top tips include limiting your intake of fats, eating fish a few times a week, fresh fruit daily and a handful of nuts weekly.

Ten top foods for optimal eye health include the following:

1. Salmon

Salmon contains high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids and is also full of Vitamins A and D. These dietary essentials can help to boost your brain power and improve eye health – especially if you suffer from dry eye. Add a few servings of fresh salmon to your weekly diet.

2. Avocados

Avocados contain more lutein than any other fruit and are useful in combating age-related macular degeneration, a common cause of preventable blindness. They are a great all-rounder and also contain vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

3. Carrots

Carrots are probably the most quoted vegetables when it comes to their link with eye health. This is due to the high levels of vitamin A that they contain. Vitamin A is crucial to normal vision and plays a major role in preventing night blindness and maintaining a healthy cornea. Carrots can also help protect against age-related macular degeneration

4. Eggs

A convenient ‘fast food’ that can do wonders for eye health is the humble egg. You’ll get the benefits of vitamin A, lutein, vitamin B12, vitamin D and zinc. They are a valuable addition to any diet and are really versatile. They are considered essential for the overall well-being of the eye, including retinal health.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, lutein, sulforaphane and zeaxanthin, which is critical to the maintenance of macular pigment levels, and provides a good defence against age-related macular degeneration. It is a member of the cruciferous family which also includes cauliflower and cabbage, so ‘eating your greens’ is good advice.

6. Spinach

Spinach is another great source of vitamin A. It also contains other important eye nutrients,

including lutein and zeaxathin, and is another good vegetable for combating age-related macular degeneration. Kale and brussels sprouts are also a good supplier of these nutrients and they are both best eaten fresh.

7. Dark Chocolate

Look for chocolate that contains at least 60% cocoa extracts for the maximum effects. Dark chocolate is good for antioxidants and also contains flavonoids which help to protect the blood vessels of the eyes so that the cornea and lens stay strong as you age.

8. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and lycopene, two important eye nutrients, and are better for eye health when lightly cooked. Citrus fruits, particularly strawberries and oranges are also very beneficial in supporting eye health.

9. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds contain selenium, a nutrient that may prevent cataracts and promote

overall eye health. Flax seeds and flax oil are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and they are thought to reverse the effects of dry eye syndrome.

10. Garlic

Eating garlic regularly can give your immune system a boost. It will also help to keep the lenses of your eyes strong and resilient. Fresh garlic is even more potent than cooked and it contains selenium and other eye nutrients such as vitamin C. Selenium is a key mineral that helps to absorb antioxidants in the prevention of eye disease.