Spinach, nuts, and carrots – Why micronutrients are so important for healthy vision

A growing number of young people are affected by nearsightedness or farsightedness – for two obvious reasons: First, the increased use of smartphones, TVs and PCs has been shown to damage the cells of the entire eye, especially the retina. Second, malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies are also detrimental to the eyes..

Screens are toxic for the eyes

Working on computer screens is hard work for the eyes. You may be familiar with the “tired eyes” syndrome, which means your eyes must constantly adjust to different brightness levels and distances but not to directions. Modern screens with LED backlighting emit light with a high blue component in the spectral range. Researchers have found that the relatively high energy content at comparatively short wavelengths of blue light severely disrupts the metabolic processes of retinal cells.

Staring fixedly at the screen also has an unfavorable effect on eye health, as the eye has many muscles that require exercise to keep the lens focused and soft. In our evolutionary history, the screen is still a relatively new device that we still need to get used to.

Blue filter glasses reduce harmful radiation

Many people already rely on so-called blue filter glasses at work and when watching TV to protect their eyes. Retinal damage, which occurs with regular screen use, especially in the long term, could thus be effectively prevented. The high-quality glasses filter 380 nm to 480 nm blue light, thus protecting the retina.

At a relatively low selling price, such glasses are a sensible purchase, as they protect the eyes in the long term. You can also have the filter “installed” in regular prescription glasses. But the eyes also need support from the inside.

Low sugar diet stabilizes vision

The retina is a flat membrane with a thin layer of micro blood vessels made up of tiny cells. When we eat a high-sugar diet, sugar molecules adhere to these delicate cell walls, causing them to become “sticky” like syrup poured on a carpet. In the short term, the body can compensate for high levels of sugar, but in the long term, this leads to scarring. These scars change the entire structure of the eye, the retina gradually detaches, and the eye loses its vision.

American researchers have found that eating habits may have a direct influence on the development of retinal detachment. Allen Taylor, Chung-Jung Chiu, and colleagues from the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging proved that primarily foods with a high sugar content promote retinal detachment.

The study involved 4100 participants aged 55 to 80. The scientists observed both the eating habits of the test subjects and their eyes. The result was clear: the participants consuming high-sugar diets showed increased eye damage.

Micronutrients for the eyes

If you know a little about how your body works, you can do a lot for the health of your eyes. Reading on paper in good light is still a particularly effective eye exercise. Eye yoga effectively trains the eye muscles and is easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Wearing sunglasses when exposed to intense UV rays is an obvious precaution, as is reducing screen time. In addition, the use of blue filter glasses is advisable.

A healthy and balanced diet in organic quality optimally protects eye health. Good sources of omega-3, including vegan alternatives from algae, are particularly important. The brain consists mainly of these valuable fatty acids, which are also found in the cell membranes of the retina.

Especially antioxidants, found in fruits and vegetables, have a beneficial effect on vision. They contain, for instance, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and A (beta carotene). Peppers, carrots, beet, broccoli, spinach, kale, nuts, oilseeds, berries, and citrus fruits are some of the best sources of vitamins.

References:

  • https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/86/1/180/4754387
  • https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002597
Mirja Holtrop
Mirja Holtrop was born and raised in Germany, where she studied Computer Science and Public Relations. After working as a Marketing Assistant for a couple of years she joined the Dr. Rath Health Foundation. In the early 2000s she moved to South Africa where she studied Education at the University of Cape Town. Her first book, ‘The Secret of Cells’, was published in 2004.

Since then, after spending 13 years in South Africa, Mirja has published five more books and moved back to Germany. Today, in addition to writing books, she works on the Dr. Rath Health Foundation’s international Movement of Life project.

Mirja loves organic gardening, cooking, and animals. She lives with her nine-year old son near Düsseldorf in Germany.

Mirja Holtrop wuchs in Aachen auf und studierte Informatik und Public Relations. Nachdem sie einige Jahre als Marketing Assistentin gearbeitet hatte, schloss sie sich der Rath Foundation an und ging nach Südafrika. Dort absolvierte sie an der Universität von Kapstadt ein Pädagogikstudium und publizierte 2004 ihr erstes Buch, “Das Geheimnis der Zellen.”

Nach 13 Jahren Südafrika und fünf weiteren publizierten Büchern – die sich alle mit dem Thema Gesundheit für Kinder und Jugendliche befassen – kehrte sie nach Deutschland zurück. Sie arbeitet immer noch für die Rath Foundation und engagiert sich für „Movement of Life“, deren Tochterorganisation.

Sie lebt mit ihrem 9-Jährigen Sohn nahe Düsseldorf, züchtet Biogemüse und setzt sich für den Tierschutz ein.

Mirja Holtrop

Read further at Dr. Rath Health Foundation

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