Regular intake of the following “rainbow colored foods” can help you to maintain a healthy vision with bright and sparkling eyes.
1. Go Green for Nutritional Power: Dark green leafy vegetables are the best bet in not only controlling age related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal damage, cataracts or glaucoma but also for the sparkle in your eyes. This is because calorie for calorie they are the most concentrated form of nutrition dense foods that contain antioxidants (substances that protect your body against the damage caused by free radicles), lutein, zeaxanthin, beta- carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, calcium, zinc and iron besides dietary fiber. Lutein and zeaxanthin helps protect your eyes against the oxidative damage caused by the ultraviolet rays. Good sources of greens include spinach and other leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, green peppers and cucumbers.
2. Binge on Yellow and Orange: Yellow and orange colored fruits and vegetables are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin which is a pro-vitamin A carotenoid, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and other antioxidant phytonutrients. Clinical studies such as the “Rotterdam study” have proved that a diet rich in carotenoid vegetables can reduce the development of age-related genetic macular degeneration of the eye among the elderly and blindness (age related macular degeneration or AMD is a slow destruction of the macula of the retina in the eye which is responsible for the central vision necessary for reading or even driving). Increasing vitamin C intake also reduces cataract. Rich sources of yellow and orange foods are apricots, carrots, lemons, mangoes, papayas, oranges, peaches, pears, and pumpkins.
3. Give me Red!: Red colored foods contain lycopene, anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, and hesperidin besides vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants which fights disease and gives you great eyes and a healthy body. Tomatoes tops the list in red colored foods because of a very high quantity of lycopene. Other red foods include beetroots, apples, cherries, strawberries, red grapes, watermelons, red wine and red onions. According to Dr. Mares-Perlman and his associates from University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, USA, people having a lower level of serum lycopene were twice more likely to have macular degeneration of the eye compared to people with higher levels.
4. Add a couple of Blue and Purple: Blue and purple foods bring with them luteins, flavanoids, anthocyanins, zeaxanthin, ellagic acid, resveratrol, quercetin, vitamin C, and proanthocyanidins. Blue and purple foods are blueberries, blackberries, raisins, purple grapes, dried prunes or plums, cranberries, eggplants and purple cabbage. Dr. Jia Z from the department of Ophthalmology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, in China has reported that grape seed pro-anthocyanidin extracts can protect the human eye from oxidative stress and resulting cataract.
An important point to note and remember is that besides the food that you put in your mouth, exercise, stress free environment and lifestyle management goes a long way to give you that radiant and brilliant shine in the eye.