Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
More often than not in our daily lives, we find ourselves staring at tiny type on computer screens and cell phones for long periods of time, leading to increased incidence of eye strain and fatigue. Add to this the natural deterioration of vision as we age — along with the more serious problems of glaucoma and cataracts — and sharp eyesight can seem like a distant dream. Despite these seemingly inevitable obstacles, we can, in fact, enjoy healthy vision to a ripe old age. Using contemporary techniques, and trusted remedies, healthy eyesight is possible without unpleasant procedures or excessive effort.
Eating for healthy eyes
For bright vision — and to avoid potential problems down the road — food is a powerful ally. Consuming a nutrient-rich diet helps protect not only health but also vision. The following edibles are a good place to start:
Dark leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers and egg yolks contain potent antioxidants like beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein — which defend against age-related blindness resulting from macular degeneration. Drinking freshly pressed carrot juice, at least twice per day, is an excellent habit that keeps eye problems at bay.
Foods high in sulfur, lecithin and cysteine are another helpful addition to the diet. Examples include garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, tree nuts, dairy, coconut and legumes. These edibles fortify the lens of your eye, thereby reducing the risk of cataracts.
Blueberries, black currant, acai and goji berries are chock-full of anthocyanin — a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that substantially improves eye health.
Coldwater fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel provide abundant essential fatty acids that help support cell membranes, which in turn, encourages sharp vision.
Additionally, vitamins C and E, along with the minerals zinc and copper, are useful in maintaining healthy eyesight. Citrus fruits, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are good sources of vitamin C, while tree nuts (especially almonds) are high in vitamin E and copper. Pastured beef, wild game and eggs are rich in zinc.
Exercises to improve vision
To support optimal eyesight, Mao Shing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., PhD, recommends the following routine:
- Warm your eyes. Rub your palms together to create heat, and then place them against your eyes for five seconds. Repeat this three times.
- Roll your eyes. Start by looking up and then slowly circle 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.
- Focus. Hold a pen at arm’s length, focus your eyes on it, and slowly bring the pen closer until it’s about 6 inches away from your nose. Then slowly move it back, keeping your eyes focused on the pen, 10 times in all.
- Massage your temples. Using your thumb knuckles, massage your temples in small circles, 20 times in one direction and 20 in the other. Repeat the same actions above the mid-point of the eyebrows at the forehead, then below the eyes on both sides of the bridge of the nose.
Also, make sure to get enough sleep, a minimum of eight hours each night in a sufficiently dark room. Giving your eyes a break each hour of the workday is helpful too. Moreover, Trayner pinhole glasses assist in correcting problems such as computer strain, far/near sightedness, eye strain and headaches. Patrick Holford, BSc, DipION, FBANT, NTCRP, notes:
“Regular use builds up eye muscles and reshapes the eyes. Most people are amazed when they put pinhole glasses on for the first time and find they can instantly read small print and see sharply without their glasses.”
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