“EAT your vegetables, kiddo, they’re good for the eyes.” What we whisper to little children to convince them to eat their vegetables should also be proclaimed from the rooftops.
Why not? It’s a little basic “health 101 fact” every food-loving creature should at least know—especially this month of August when we’re celebrating Eye-saving Month.
What are the foods that help us retain fairly good eyesight and those “beautiful eyes”? Carrots would be on top of almost everyone’s minds.
So are they really good for your eyesight? Yes and no. At least, according to an article in webmd.com.
“Eating carrots won’t give a nearsighted person 20/20 vision.
But carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A—a crucial nutrient for maintaining proper eyesight. Vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness; an extreme deficiency can even cause blindness.
Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in the Third World. But if you’re not deficient in vitamin A, your vision won’t improve no matter how many carrots or other beta-carotene-rich fruits and vegetables you eat,” says the site.
The article goes on recommending “getting your daily dose from dark, green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach and bright, orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as peaches, apricots, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. Foods high in beta-carotene are preferable to a vitamin because they come with other important nutrients that you won’t necessarily get from a vitamin.”
“To be honest, carrots, squash—they do not necessary heal eye damage,” optometrist Christine Fernandez explains.
“They don’t repair, but they can at least in a minimal level, sort of strengthen, or sharpen your vision,” she adds.
She goes on to share that eating these kinds of food, especially when one is younger, brings more pros than cons.
In fact, even pregnant moms who want the best for their babies can start snacking on vitamin rich food.
In a nutshell, eye damage can be caused by either of the two things: hereditary or acquired due to lifestyle, according to Christine. Both are very hard to prevent and will most likely be, beyond anyone’s control—although prevention is still highly encouraged. For one thing, a perosn who spends more than two hours in front of a computer or reading a book can subject his eyes to possible “eye fatigue” and can cause visual disorder.
But so much for that, back to the food.
Optometrist Vicky Santiago of Vicky Santiago Optical based in Dumaguete City, on the other side of the coin, gives easier-to-recall tips for the average person.
“Vegetables or fruits that are red, orange or dark green in color—carrots, tomatoes, squash, malunggay,” she shares about the food that comes off the top of her mind, that’s good for the eyes.
Red, orange, dark green—we should all be able to remember that, shouldn’t we?