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5 Foods To Boost Your Eye Health

5 Foods To Boost Your Eye Health

Our eyesight is precious. The bad news is that 75% of American adults need eyeglasses of one kind or another. Cataracts are becoming almost endemic and a whopping $7 billion is spent on these operations every year in the US. I live in Europe but my eye specialist told me that the rise in the number of cataracts in my area was disconcerting. There is no plausible explanation as yet. But the good news is that diet and other healthy lifestyle habits can help to maintain optimal eye health

The AREDS (Age Related Eye-Disease Study) research shows that by taking either a multivitamin or eating a healthy diet, the risk of developing vision loss problems was reduced by 25%. These studies involved thousands of people and were conducted among the 55-80 age group over a period of several years.

Here are the five foods you should be eating to keep your vision laser sharp and youthful.

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“My eyes are my favorite part of me – not for how they look, but for how they see.” – Chris Sebastian.

1. Carrots and squash

Carotenoids are a plentiful nutrient (usually orange or yellow) in many fruit and vegetables of the same color. We can think of carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, sweet red peppers, cantaloupe and dried apricots.

These carotenoids contain lutein which protects the macula (part of the retina) from damage caused by blue light and ultra violet light. The American Optometric Association says that we need up to 10 mg of lutein every day although there is no official RDA amount. It is better not to overcook these vegetables as this can decrease their carotenoid content. The one exception is the carrot which can be cooked well to get the maximum benefit.

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2. Spinach and kale

Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables not only contain carotenoids but also zeaxanthin. This, together with the lutein helps to keep the macula in top shape. Experts say that it is sufficient to eat about 10 ounces of frozen spinach or kale a week to get enough of these essential nutrients. Spinach is so rich in vitamins and minerals that it may also help to prevent cancer.

3. Almonds

One of the most effective vitamins in protecting your eyes is vitamin E. This is found in great quantities in nuts, especially almonds. Well worth ramping up your intake of these. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which can prevent free radicals from damaging cells.

The AREDS study quoted above also mentions vitamin E as being on the essential vitamins list to help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. It is also worth remembering that the latter condition is the main cause of blindness for people over the age of 55 in the western world. Figures for this disease are likely to triple by the year 2025.

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4. Oranges and grapefruit

Any fruits which are rich in vitamin C can also help to maintain optimum vision. Most fruits contain vitamin C so you have a wide choice. One cup of pure orange juice can give you 124 milligrams of vitamin C. If you cannot find oranges easily, sweet red peppers contain three times the amount of vitamin C so they are an even better substitute!

One study has demonstrated that with increased intake of vitamin C together with the E vitamin groups and other nutrients, patients were less likely to suffer from eyesight problems.

5. Omega 3 foods

We hear a lot about all the omega 3 foods such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts and canola oil. As you cannot manufacture your own supplies of these omega 3 fatty acids, the only alternative is to get them from food or through supplements.

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What is the function of omega 3 with regard to eye health? Research mentioned by the Universty of Maryland Medical Center shows results from an interesting study. They gave a questionnaire to 3,000 people who were over 49. The data showed that those ate more fish with omega 3 were less likely to have problems with eyesight decline such as cataracts or macular degeneration.

The next time you plan a meal, keep your eyesight in mind.

“Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age – as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.”- Phyllis Diller.

Featured photo credit: Vision of Eyechart With Glasses/Ken Teegardin via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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