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6 Powerhouse Foods for Eye Health and Protection

6 Powerhouse Foods for Eye Health and Protection

How are your eyes?

If you live in the United States, chances are that you are one of the 75% of people who require corrective lenses of some kind, or one of the 22 million Americans affected by cataracts. These incredibly high numbers are testament to the fragility of our eyesight. One of our most prized senses, it is unfortunately also susceptible to some of the most degenerative conditions out there and can easily be compromised by external factors, such as our lifestyle. Indeed, while failing eyesight is often perceived as being a natural side-effect of ageing, there are plenty of ways we can protect our eyes, ensuring better eye health for longer.

For instance, stopping smoking, stepping away from the computer screen or – perhaps the most obvious of all – making sure we wear the right kind of sunglasses (i.e., lenses that block 99-100% of both UVA and UVB rays) will all contribute to keeping our peepers happy and safe. However, did you know that a healthy diet, rich in certain kinds of nutrients, also plays an important role in improving our eye health and preventing disease? Incorporate the following 6 eye-friendly foods into your meals and see the difference for yourself!

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1. Egg yolks

Better eye health with egg yolks

    If you regularly discard egg yolks because you believe they have an adverse effect on your cholesterol levels, think again: according to Paul Dougherty, medical director of Dougherty Laser Vision in Los Angeles, the yolk is in fact a prime source of lutein, a yellow-pigmented antioxidant that acts as a blue-light filter and combats free radicals in tandem with its sister compound, zeaxanthin. Combined with the zinc also present in egg yolks, these two compounds can help slow down age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss for people over 65 years old. The best way to eat them? Raw! If you don’t have the stomach for it, don’t worry: while it’s true that uncooked egg yolks contain more lutein than cooked yolks, our bodies are perfectly able to absorb the antioxidant from other sources, such as leafy greens, too. Simply combine these lutein-rich ingredients with olive or coconut oil for better absorption.

    2. Spinach (and other leafy greens)

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    Spinach and other leafy greens for better eye health

      Whatever you do, don’t forget to eat your greens! Dark, leafy greens such as cooked spinach and kalecollards and turnip greens all contain extremely high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been proven to reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Although the compounds found in mixed greens aren’t as easily absorbed as those found in egg yolks, these vegetables are a great option for getting the antioxidants your eyes need for better health. Don’t forget to cook the greens in good quality olive oil or coconut oil to reap the full benefits!

      3. Salmon (and other fatty fish)

      Salmon and other fatty fish for better eye health

        Salmonmackereltuna and anchovies are not only delicious; they are also rich in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is found in our retinas and is instrumental in preventing dry eye syndrome, as well as dramatically decreasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Two to four servings of these incredible fatty fish should be enough to ensure all round eye health; however, if you don’t eat seafood, you can get a good supply of DHA either through fish oil supplements, or by taking taking vegetarian supplements containing flaxseed oil or blackcurrant seed oil.

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        4. Berries and citrus fruit

        Berries and citrus fruit for better eye health

          Berries  – especially blueberries – are considered one of the healthiest foods for your eyes, owing to their high quantities of vitamins A, C and E, and zinc. Let’s break it down: vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that prevents inflammation in the eyes while combating free radicals; vitamin C acts against intraocular pressure (the pressure within your eye), which if left unchecked can increase the potential for the development of glaucoma, the second most common cause of blindness in the United States; vitamin E may help prevent the formation of cataracts, while zinc is a powerful mineral that helps protect against night blindness and – you guessed it – macular degeneration. All in all, the humble blueberry is a nutritional powerhouse that does your eyes a world of good! Citrus fruit are another ally in your fight against eye disease, as they also contain a high concentration of vitamin C. Be sure to include different kinds of berries and citrus fruits in your regular rotation in order to reap all the benefits.

          5. Carrots (and other orange-hued produce)

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          Carrots and other orange produce for better eye sight

            While carrots and other orange-pigmented produce such as pumpkinsweet potato and mango aren’t miracle workers and won’t reverse bad eyesight, they can certainly help improve general eye health. Indeed, these fruits and vegetables contain lutein, the nutritional powerhouse contained amongst others in egg yolks and leafy greens, and beta-carotene, a substance that is converted into vitamin A by the body once it is absorbed. As we’ve seen, vitamin A is extremely beneficial to eye health, so be sure to include various different sources of it in your diet for optimal effect.

            6. Almonds

            Almonds for better eye sight

              Almonds – and indeed, many different types of nuts – are rich in vitamin E, which, as we have seen, has been proven to slow macular degeneration and protect your eyes against the formation of cataracts. Simply indulge in a handful of almonds a day to obtain roughly half of your daily recommended dose, and supplement with berries and other vitamin E rich foods for good, all round health.

              We are far more in control of our health than we realise and it is our responsibility to give our bodies the nutrition they need to thrive. By incorporating these 6 eye-friendly foods into your diet, you’re taking a step in the right direction! 

              Featured photo credit: AlesiaCom via alesiacom.com

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              Last Updated on August 21, 2018

              30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

              30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

              Ah, camping. The great outdoors, the campfires, the food you’d never eat in civilised society: it’s a wonderful experience.

              That said, things can get a little bit tricky when we are left to the mercy of Mother Nature. Here are 30 fantastic camping hacks you can use to make your camping experience as wonderful as possible!

               1. Use sage to repel mosquitoes.

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                photoshelter.com

                Place some sage in your campfire and the smell is sure to ward off any pesky mosquitos.

                2. Liquid soap + cotton balls = no ticks.

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                  crateandbarrel.com

                  If you or one of your fellow campers is having trouble with a tick, place the soap-soaked cotton on the tick for 20 seconds. The tick will eventually stop chewing and will come away with the cotton ball. If the tick was attached for a lengthy amount of time you may want to consider keeping it in a container so that you can test it for Lyme disease later.

                  3. Use an acorn cap as a whistle if you get lost.

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                    smallhomebigstart.com

                    It’s remarkably easy to get lost whilst camping. Here’s a full tutorial on how you can transform an acorn into a whistle!

                    4. Corn chips for kindling!

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                      Doritos are a great way to start a fire, just be careful!

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                      5. Use the rest of the chips for nachos.

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                        buzzfeed.com

                        Nachos are easy to pack, light and simple to make. Plus they’re incredibly tasty.

                        6. Use compact, microfibre towels!

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                          rei.com

                          These towels are incredibly easy to store and dry within an hour of use. Buy them here.

                          7. Wrap duct-tape around your water bottle for emergencies.

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                            briangreen.net

                            You never know when you might need some.

                            8. Make lamps out of jars and solar disks.

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                              campwander.com

                              Get all the info you need here.

                              9. Sangria!

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                                gastfamilyrecipes.blogspot.co.uk

                                We know what’s really important. How to here!

                                10. One water bottle will hold eight eggs.

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                                  cookiecrumbsandsawdust.blogspot

                                  By keeping all your eggs in a bottle you save time and hassle. Plus, no need to carry extra bowls or a whisk!

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                                  11. Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil is a surprisingly good mosquito repellent.

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                                    Keep the bugs and the bug repellent smell at bay.

                                    12. DIY shower.

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                                      All you need is a watering can and a large jug. Here’s the full instructions.

                                      13. Keep sandpaper handy to light matches.

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                                        craftaholicsanonymous.net

                                        Glueing some sandpaper to the lid of a tupperware box where you can also store matches is a foolproof plan.

                                        14. Make s’moreos easily.

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                                          snackhacks.org

                                          15. MarshJell-o shots.

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                                            tablespoon.com

                                            Learn how to make these delicious things here!

                                            16. Or dip those marshmallows in Bailey’s. 
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                                              Toast the marshmallow first and then dip it in Bailey’s.

                                              17. Turn a bottle into a spoon.

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                                                buzzfeed.com

                                                It’s that easy!

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                                                18. Grits repel ants.

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                                                  sleepychef.com

                                                  Just sprinkle grits wherever you see ants.

                                                  19. Deodorant can be used to combat itchiness.

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                                                    wikihow.com

                                                    20. Wrap your meat in cabbage to stop it from burning.

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                                                      onesweetappetite.com

                                                      That’s not an innuendo, it really will! The moistness in the cabbage creates the perfect barrier.

                                                      21. Foam noodles will stop any injuries.

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                                                        andybaird.com

                                                        For any fellow clumsy people, you know how possible it is to smack your head and cause serious injury. Placing a foam noodle on the awning strut narrows down at least one accident waiting to happen.

                                                        22. Carry some essentials in a small tin with you at all times.

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                                                          fieldandstream.com

                                                          You never know what you’ll need and when.

                                                          23. Take toothpaste dots instead of a whole tube.

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                                                            Let the drops dry out over 3 days, add a little baking soda and put them in a resealable bag.

                                                            24. Use a stick to secure your tent.

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                                                              survivormedic.com

                                                              By placing a stick in the main centre line you ensure the pressure is even throughout, which will stop the grommets being pulled out.

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                                                              25. Vacuum seal your food before you leave.

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                                                                livingonalatte.com

                                                                26. Popcorn on the campfire.

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                                                                  kookyculinary.com

                                                                  Popcorn that you can place on the stove at home can also be popped over a campfire. You can also make your own using this tutorial.

                                                                  27. You can even make bacon and eggs over it.

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                                                                    realfamilycamping.blogspot.co.uk

                                                                    That’s right! Full instructions here.

                                                                    28. Keep your toiletries handy.

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                                                                      myshowerline.com

                                                                      Buy this magnificent contraption here.

                                                                      29. Compact, unbreakable cups!

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                                                                        reuseit.com

                                                                        Get them while you can!

                                                                        30. Tic-Tac boxes are great for storing ingredients.

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                                                                          seattlesundries.com

                                                                          With these 30 camping tips and tricks, you can work DIY magic into nearly every aspect of camping, and make your next camping trip a comfortable, easy blast. Good luck!

                                                                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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