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Maintaining balance diet reduces risks to eyes – Optometrist

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A clinical optometrist,  Henry Emelike, says maintaining well-balanced and healthy diet help to keep eyes healthy.

Emelike, who is also a Community Eye Care Specialist, gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Kaduna.

He said serious eye conditions may be avoided if one include foods that contain a range of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, known as antioxidants.

“The human eye is regarded as one of the most important parts of the body and almost everyone would spend whatever they have to continue to see.

“People often believe that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain, in truth, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.

“Eye conditions that you may be able to prevent with a healthy diet include: cataracts, which cause cloudy vision, age-related macular degeneration, which can limit your eyesight, glaucoma, dry eyes, and poor night vision.

‘These antioxidants ward off oxidants that can affect your health in negative ways.

“Your eyes need many types of antioxidants to stay healthy. These include: Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene,omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.”

According to him, balanced diet is best created with a variety of proteins, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

“Try to eat a rainbow during your day, incorporating many types of foods in many different colours.

“You should limit consumption of unhealthy foods that are processed, contain saturated fats, or are high in sugar.”

He added that people should also consume fruits and vegetables to increase visual performance and prevent age-related eye diseases.

Emelike added that vegetables such as carrots, contain lutein, lycopene and beta-carotenes; and these protect the seeing portion of the back of the eye from degeneration.

“Broccoli also contain great antioxidants that fight free radicals thus wards off certain types of cancers and protects the retina.

“Eggs are rich in glutathione components, which are helpful for the image forming portions of the eyes. Garlic and Onions are antioxidants for the eyes, rich in sulphur.

“Tomatoes contain lycopene and lutein which are antioxidants needed in the eyes and body. They protect the eyes from sun damage.

“Also, Apricots are rich in beta-carotene and lycopene nutrients essential for the protection of the eyes,” he said.

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