August is National Eye Exam Month, so if you haven’t had your eyes checked recently this might be a good reminder to make an appointment soon.
And while getting eye exams can certainly help detect any problems with your eyes, arguably far more important is to make sure you’re doing all you can to help your eyes healthy in the first place!
There are many factors that can affect your eye health, and not knowing about them can make you far more vulnerable to eye problems down the road.
Here are 7 very effective ways that you can counteract the eye-harming forces around you and help protect your precious peepers:
1) Wear sunglasses
Protecting your eyes from UV radiation can decrease your risk of cataracts, which occur when proteins in the lens of your eye get damaged.
So on bright sunny days, be sure to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses or a hat.
2) Get regular exercise
Research has shown that physical activity can lower your chance of developing cataracts by more than one-third, cut your risk of developing macular degeneration by more than half, and lower the increased eye pressure associated with glaucoma!
So this is yet another great reason to work some regular exercise into your days.
Notice I said “regular” and “exercise” in the same sentence…
Meaning it should be something you do at least 3-4 days a week, and it should be something that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat.
Pick an activity that works for you and get going! Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK first.
3) Limit refined carbs
Refined carbohydrates (sugars, white flour, white rice, white bread, cookies, pastries, cakes, bagels, rolls, bakery goods, etc.) all quickly turn to sugar (glucose) once they're broken down by your body.
And having a regular diet of foods like these increases your risk of insulin resistance and eventually Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can damage the blood vessels that service your eyes and lead to blindness. Plus people with Type 2 diabetes have a 72 percent increased risk of certain types of cataracts and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as nondiabetics.
4) Get enough eye-healthy nutrients
Vitamins A, C and E, the mineral zinc, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are all crucial to eye health:
- Vitamin A has been shown to protect against loss of vision caused by cataract and macular degeneration. In addition, it helps the progression of neuropathy (nerve damage) in the eyes caused by diabetes.
- Vitamin C protects your vision by fighting damaging, disease-causing free radicals.
- Vitamin E works with vitamins A and C to keep your cells and tissue strong, protect from the harmful effects of inflammation and decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Zinc protects your retinas and also protects against macular degeneration.
- Lutein has been affectionately nicknamed “the eye vitamin” and has strong protective effects on the macula and lens of the eye.
- Zeaxanthin also helps protect the eye’s tissue, lens and macula, which in turns supports clear vision and prevents cataracts.
The best way to ensure you have health-supporting levels of these vital eye nutrients is to have a diet of wholesome real foods (especially lots of fresh vegetables of all colors) and supplement with an outstanding multi-vitamin formula like Super Core.
Super Core contains therapeutic levels of ALL the eye nutrients I mentioned above, plus a full range of other essential vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to support better health from head to toe!
5) Get enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids
The Omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) are absolutely vital for proper brain and eye functioning.
Unfortunately, because our food supply has merely a fraction of the Omega-3 EFAs it used to have (because of our large dependence on vegetables oils, processed foods and meat from grain-fed animals), most people are severely lacking this critical nutrient.
But that can be easily remedied by eating more fatty fish, as well supplementation with a high-quality, pharmaceutical grade fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.
2 capsules a day gives you 2,000 mg of the purest top-quality Omega-3 fish oil available that includes 600 mg. of EPA and 400 mg. of DHA, which is the 3:2 ratio suggested by many health experts.
6) Quit smoking
Smoking causes free radical production to EXPLODE throughout your body and puts you at risk for a whole slew of conditions stemming from chronic inflammation, including poor vision.
Your precious eyes are yet another addition to the LONG list of reasons why you should put that deadly habit behind you for good.
Don’t give up if you try to quit and then fall off the wagon! Many ex-smokers have reported having to quit several times before they finally stayed away for good.
7) Avoid aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)
Vision problems are one of the many symptoms of aspartame poisoning.
If you must use a calorie-free sweetener, try stevia.
Your eyes are most definitely one of your most precious gifts, and certainly nothing to take lightly.
Do whatever you can to take care of them now and help encourage strong eye health and good vision into your golden years.
To your health,