Many foods contain nutrients which can help your dry eye. What do different foods provide, and which are best for your eyes?
Dry eye is an all too common condition and it can be very uncomfortable. While there are many things which can cause dry eye, there are also many things one can do to prevent it.
One way to do so is to increase your intake of important nutrients which improve tear quality and quantity. That can be done through the taking of supplements, but you can also get these nutrients from eating the right foods. In fact, the body absorbs vitamins and other nutrients better through eating food than through taking a pill.
Let’s take a look at several of the foods which are great for helping alleviate your dry eye symptoms.
Fish are a great food to eat if you have dry eye, as they contain important omega-3 fatty acids. These help reduce inflammation in the eyes, particularly in the tear ducts. This helps ensure you have higher quality tears that do what they’re supposed to do.
Most fish contain omega-3s, with some of the best including herring, halibut, tuna, and salmon. Some other seafood, like oysters, are also high in omega-3s. Furthermore seafood such as oysters, clams, crabs, shrimp, and lobster are a great source of zinc.
Seeds can be another source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially for vegetarians and vegans who need an alternative to fish. Chia seeds and flaxseed are great sources of omega-3s, and flaxseed oil is often recommended as an alternative to fish oil.
Nuts are another food high in omega-3s, and also in the antioxidant Vitamin E and Zinc. Vitamin E’s properties enable it to help fight age-related damage to the eyes, which often affects tear production.
Walnuts and cashews in particular are rich in both omega-3s and Vitamin E. Additionally, peanuts, while technically not nuts (they’re legumes) also contain a lot of omega-3s.
Beans contain a high amount of a variety of nutrients and are considered a good part of any healthy diet. Along with being rich in protein and fiber (thus being a good meat substitute), they contain zinc and folate, which are great for your eyes.
Zinc in particular is important because it promotes melanin production, which in turn helps protect your eyes from damage, important for those suffering from dry eye.
Beans are also high in folate. Folate is a nutrient which may prevent vision loss and developmental problems.
Some greens, such as spinach, kale, and collards, are rich in both folate and Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant which prevents damage caused by aging, and has been found to contribute to eye health.Leafy greens are also rich in cartenoids, antioxidants that prevent cellular damage. The three most important nutrients for the eyes are lutein, RR-zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. Of the 600 carotenoids in nature, only three are specifically found in the eye.
While water doesn’t contain any specific nutrients, it is a vital component of healthy tear production, and dry eye is often due to dehydration, especially for those who live in dry, hot places.
Staying properly hydrated is important for overall health, but particularly for the eyes. If there’s not enough water, it’s hard for the body to make enough tears!
These foods are naturally high in Omega 7. Omega-7 helps cell membranes keep moisture and may help dry eyes by reducing redness, irritation, and inflammation.
Eating the right foods can go a long way toward promoting eye health, especially if you suffer from dry eye. However, it is important to not go overboard, as some vitamins can build up in the body and cause negative effects if you eat too much of them. It is advised that you speak with a doctor regarding dietary changes if you are experiencing dry eye, and are seeking to improve your symptoms. If you have questions, or would like to schedule a consultation, you can reach Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga at (423) 710 3965.