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6 foods to have for a healthy eyesight -
We’re constantly making efforts to stay physically fit. However, we take for granted our eyes and their health. Our eyes, just like any other part/ organ of our body, require adequate nutrition to perform their functions and remain healthy. Eyes require nutrients such as vitamin a, c and e, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3, zinc, etc, to stay healthy. Deficiencies of any of these nutrients can be a cause of various eye-disorders. A well-balanced diet can help provide these essential nutrients and thus help boost eye sight, maintain eye health and even prevent a plethora of eye conditions such as glaucoma, dry eyes, poor night vision, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (amd).
While you can opt for food supplements to keep your eyes healthy, incorporating the following foods in your diet is a better way to keep your eyes in check:
Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids (efas) that are necessary for our body and its functions. As our body does not produce these efas by itself, we must derive these from the food we eat. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerels are rich in omega-3 which is known, in particular, to benefit eye health. Omega-3 strengthens the blood vessels of the eyes and aids the proper flow of intraocular fluid in the eyes, thus warding off dry eye syndrome and glaucoma among other eye sight-threatening conditions.
Include 2 servings of these fish in your weekly diet plan to improve visual development and the health of your retina.
2. Greens and leaves
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale, broccoli, peas and avocados contain two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help boost development of the optical density of the macular pigment in the retina, help reduce cell damage and prevent or reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, a condition that causes damage to the retina resulting in gradual loss of vision. Lutein and zeaxanthin make up the macular pigment found in the centre of the retina. This pigment protects the eyes from the sun’s harmful uv rays that can cause cell damage, thus acting as a natural sunscreen for your eyes.
Generous servings of spinach or kale 2-3 times a week is ideal to meet your lutein and zeaxanthin requirements.
3. Eggs, dairy and poultry
Eggs are another good source of vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin a, vitamin e, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc which are essential for eye health. Poultry such as turkey is rich in zinc. While vitamin a protects the cornea, the protective transparent surface of the eye, reducing the possibility of dry eye, zinc boosts the health of the retina and prevents night blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the chances of developing cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Eggs are packed with protein and go well with all your meals, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Dairy products such as milk and curd also contain vitamin a and zinc.
One egg or a serving of turkey and a glass of milk a day will keep you and your eyes fit.
4. Citrus fruits and berries
Fruits rich in vitamin c such as oranges, lemons, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries and other berries in combination with other vitamins and nutrients improve the health of eye tissues, helps form and maintain connective tissue including collagen found in the cornea of the eye and fights the development of cataracts and age- related macular degeneration.
Eat plenty of citrus fruits and berries, they are refreshing and make for a good snack. Also, since vitamin c is water soluble you don’t have to worry about consuming too much of it.
5. Nuts and seeds
Go nuts with almonds, walnuts and pistachios. These are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin e, both of which are key to eye health. Vitamin e protects cells from damage caused by unstable molecules that break down healthy eye tissue, reducing the risk of amd. Other nuts and seeds that contain vitamin e are peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds. Chia seeds, flax seed and black currant seeds are also rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Since most nuts are high in calories, consume them in moderation. One serving a day i. E. A handful of nuts will give you the nutrition your eyes require.
6. Other veggies and fruits
Look beyond carrots and embrace these colourful fruits and veggies; tomatoes, bell peppers, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, corn, cantaloupe, guava, apricots, mangoes are all sources of vitamin a and c and beta-carotene. Vitamin a protects the surface of the eye and helps prevent infections, reduces the impact of cataracts, retinal problems and other eye conditions. One cup a day of any of these colourful fruits and veggies are sure to help sustain healthy eyesight.