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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 October 23, 2019

              50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

              50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

              If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

              That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into fifty key points.

              Here’re 50 habits of highly successful people you should learn:

              1. Believe It to See It

              Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

              2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

              While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

              3. Keep Looking for Solutions

              Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

              4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

              Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

              5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

              There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

              6. Always Ask Productive Questions

              It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

              7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

              Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

              8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

              Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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              9. Maximize Your Strengths

              Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

              10. Be in It to Win It

              Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

              11. Know That Success Attracts Success

              People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

              12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

              Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

              13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

              You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

              14. Be a One-Off Original

              Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

              15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

              Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

              16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

              Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

              17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

              Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

              18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

              We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

              19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

              Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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              20. Accept Challenge All the Time

              Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

              21. Make Your Own Luck

              In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

              22. Ignite Your Initiative

              While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

              23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

              Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

              24. Champion in Communication

              Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

              25. Plan Your Life Strategically

              Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

              26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

              To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

              27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

              While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

              28. Live by Core Values

              Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

              29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

              Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

              30. Don’t Get Carried Away

              Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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              31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

              Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

              32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

              Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

              33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

              Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

              34. Change Opens New Doors

              People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

              35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

              It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

              36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

              Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

              37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

              When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

              38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

              How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

              39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

              If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

              40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

              Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

              41. Swim Against the Tide

              Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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              42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

              More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

              43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

              Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

              44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

              While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

              45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

              Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

              46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

              Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

              47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

              While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

              48. Follow Through

              Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

              49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

              We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

              50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

              To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

              So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

              More About Success

              Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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