Advertising
Advertising

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!

Advertising

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)

    Advertising

    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.

        Advertising

        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)

          Advertising

          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

              More by this author

              These 10 Songs Will Get You Pumped to Follow Your Dreams These 10 Songs Will Get You Pumped to Follow Your Dreams Jared Leto The Power of No Why Everyone Should Learn About the Power of Saying No from the Singer-actor-investor Jared Leto How to Make the Most of Winter 7 Ways to Make the Most of Winter 100 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil I Wish I Knew These Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil Earlier 15 Wonderful And Healthy Pizza Recipes

              Trending in Health

              1 7 Signs You’re Burnt Out (And How to Bounce Back) 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 How to Cure Depression (Professional Advice from a Therapist) 4 The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype 5 20 Easy and Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Rush Mornings

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on June 2, 2020

              8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

              8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

              The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

              Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

              Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important”.

              1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

              It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

              But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

              Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

              Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

              “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

              And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

              Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

              Advertising

              So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

              2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

              Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

              You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

              Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

              Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

              So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

              3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

              A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

              But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

              Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

              Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

              Advertising

              So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

              4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

              This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

              Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

              What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

              This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

              If you want to learn about some of the golden rules for goal setting that will help you set and achieve your goals successfully check out this article: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

              So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

              5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

              This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

              What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

              The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

              Advertising

              Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

              So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

              6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

              Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

              For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

              A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

              Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

              So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

              7. Goals Make You Feel Good

              Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

              Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

              Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

              Advertising

              If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

              So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

              8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

              I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

              Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

              Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

              There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

              Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

              So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest!

              Final Thoughts

              These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

              If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

              Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

              More Tips About Goals Setting

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Read Next