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How to Improve Your Eyesight

How to Improve Your Eyesight

There are so many myths and misconceptions about how to improve eyesight or prevent eye problems. Stop me if you’ve heard these:

“Eating carrots is good for your eyes.”

“Videogames ruin your eyesight.”

“Exercising your eye muscles will improve your vision.”

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The trouble with these old wives’ tales about eyesight is that they lump all vision problems together and treat them the same. But the number and variety of common eyesight problems is staggering.

Some are curable, some can only be treated rather than cured, and other eye conditions are completely untreatable, though many are avoidable if you care for your eyes before you ever get any vision problems. So improving your eyesight if it’s already below average is very different from avoiding eye-damaging behaviour.

Here’s a run-down of the best ways to try to improve your eyesight, from the traditional to the technological.

Eat Well to See Well

The old wives’ tale about carrots helping you see in the dark isn’t entirely unfounded. Carrots contain a fair amount of Vitamin A, which can help to treat night blindness. And if you don’t like carrots, you can get almost as much Vitamin A from broccoli leaves, or sweet potatoes. But it’ll only work if you already have a vision problem caused by Vitamin A deficiency; for healthy eyes, extra carrots will make no difference.

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Other healthy foods for your eyes include green leafy vegetables and fish. A diet with plenty of these foods is one of the reasons why the rate of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that causes a blind spot in the centre of your visual field, is falling in the developed world.

Exercise to Treat Focus Issues

Yes, eye exercises can improve your eyesight, but only if you suffer from an eye condition like double vision, uncoordinated eye movements, crossed eyes or an inability to cross your eyes, all of which hamper your ability to focus your vision.

A review of scientific evidence shows that no amount of eyeball exercise will cure nearsightedness, longsightedness, astigmatism, or the gradual blurriness of close-up focus that comes with increasing age.

Avoid Eye Strain

Too much strain on your eyes can lead to problems with your eyesight in the short term and the long term.

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No matter what you’re doing, stop every 20 minutes or so to look at something else. If you’ve been doing up-close work, focus on a distant object for half a minute; if you’ve been staring out into the distance, look at something close by (your own hands, for example). The change in distance helps to prevent straining the muscles that adjust the focus of your eyes.

Another source of eye strain is light itself. Ultraviolet light damages your eyes, so wear UV-protective sunglasses to help prevent deterioration of your vision.

And bear in mind that our eyes evolved to handle light from the sun or a flame, so the electric light from streetlamps, computer screens and LEDs may cause more eye strain than natural light. Even that isn’t a sure thing, though; the benefits of electrically-lit experiences can outweigh the downsides.

Play High-Adrenaline Videogames

You might think certain activities, like watching TV or playing videogames, are pretty much guaranteed to make your eyesight worse. That’s not necessarily true.

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Some videogames may help to improve your eyesight. Brain and sight scientists say that playing first-person shooter games like Medal of Honor leads to improvements in eyesight, including detail perception and visual processing speed. This applies even to gamers with healthy eyes, as well as to patients with “lazy eye” problems. Check out this TEDx talk for more benefits of videogames:

Make the Most of Technology

Natural ways to improve your eyesight may sound appealing to people with healthy eyes, but if you suffer from near- or long-sightedness then the question of how to improve eyesight can be answered most effectively by science and technology. Eyeglasses or contact lenses will instantly improve your visual focus, while laser surgery is a far more complex and permanent procedure with a recovery period before you experience the benefits.

Whatever condition your eyes are in, take good care of them and give them a rest every once in a while!

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Sophie Lizard

A writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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