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Maintaining a Healthy Bodyweight for Your Eyes

February 24, 2016

Maintaining a Healthy Bodyweight for Your Eyes

Obesity and excess body fat is a growing problem in current day Western society. Since 1980, obesity has doubled worldwide. As recently as last year, more than 1.9 billion people (39% of global population) over the age of 18 years, were overweight. 600 million (13% of global population) of these were classified as obese. In 2013, 42 million children under the age of 5 were either overweight or obese.

Ones’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other systemic conditions increases by being overweight or obese. Conditions such as glaucoma or diabetic eye disease can lead to vision loss and in some cases, even blindness. Diets including high fat and cholesterol intake need to be avoided. If you are battling to lose weight, consult your General Practitioner for advice.

When it comes to the consumption of eye strengthening nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C & E as well as lutein and zinc are important to include in your diet. These help fight against age-related issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration. These nutrients can be found in the following food types:

  • Oily, cold-water fish such as tuna and salmon
  • Leafy, green vegetables such as collards, kale and spinach
  • Protein sources such a nuts, beans and eggs
  • Citrus fruits and juices such as oranges and grapefruit
  • Dark pigment fruits such as grapes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and cherries
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli

Vitamin A also plays a big role in maintaining your eye health. A lack thereof may cause dry eyes which can lead to vision loss through eye infections. It also reduces your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts in later life. Vitamin A may aid people with the eye condition retinitis pigmentosa through slowing down the vision loss caused by this affliction. This vitamin keeps your immune system strong thereby helping in the fight against pink eye symptoms. Chicken liver, beef, milk, eggs and cod liver oil are all sources of Vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can have a negative effect on ones’ health, so check with your GP on the right amounts of each nutrient to consume.

Keeping physically active is vitally important to the maintenance of a healthy body-weight. Excess fat places a huge amount of strain on your body, its regulatory systems, joints and organs. Taking up a sport, jogging, swimming, cycling or even playing with your children or dogs can assist in the breaking down of body fat and a reduction in body-weight.

Your body is your vehicle in this life, make sure to take good care of it.

#LoveYourEyes

Sources:
WHO | Obesity and overweight. 2015. WHO | Obesity and overweight. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/. [Accessed 29 September 2015].
Macular Degeneration Foundation – Adult MD. 2015. Macular Degeneration Foundation – Adult MD. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.eyesight.org/Macular_Degeneration/Adult_MD/adult_md.html. [Accessed 29 September 2015].
Keeping Your Eyes Healthy: Live a healthy lifestyle | National Eye Institute. 2015. Keeping Your Eyes Healthy: Live a healthy lifestyle. | National Eye Institute. [ONLINE] Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/hvm/healthy_eyes_lifestyle. [Accessed 29 September 2015].
Eye Health Tips | National Eye Institute. 2015. Eye Health Tips | National Eye Institute. [ONLINE] Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips. [Accessed 29 September 2015].
6 Tips for Eye Health and Maintaining Good Eyesight. 2015. 6 Tips for Eye Health and Maintaining Good Eyesight. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/good-eyesight. [Accessed 29 September 2015].
Six Easy Tips for Healthy Eyes and Good Vision. 2015. Six Easy Tips for Healthy Eyes and Good Vision. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.alcon.com/features/eye-health-tips.aspx. [Accessed 29 September 2015].
Nutrition for Your Eyes – AllAboutVision.com. 2015. Nutrition for Your Eyes – AllAboutVision.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.allaboutvision.com/teens/nutrition.htm. [Accessed 29 September 2015].

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