Our eyes are often what people focus on first, whether it’s strangers we’ve met for the first time, a hot date or an old friend. Big, bright eyes are a universal sign of glowing vitality!
We have all heard them described as ‘the windows to the soul’, but your eyes and the area around them can give a lot of information away about your inner health. They enable medical experts to spot some of the earliest signs of health conditions, from the smallest to the most life-threatening, literally in the blink of an eye.
In fact, medical conditions like liver disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease can sometimes be spotted by ophthalmologists by simply inspecting the light-sensitive retina at the back of your eyes. Regular eye tests are important, because the initial signs of diseases can be picked up before symptoms are seen. But apart from this, you can use your diet to support good eyesight and encourage bright, healthy eyes.
These are my fave bright-eye foods:
Leafy Green Vegetables: Cleansing foods high in antioxidants are the very best to remove the less-than-clear appearance of eyes and bring them back to their brightest best. One of the most effective ways to do this is to include leafy greens like kale, Romaine lettuce and spinach in your meals as often as possible.
Studies have shown that consuming carotenoid-rich foods may lower the likelihood of age-related eyesight diseases, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. They also contain the antioxidant nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are actual pigments in the back part of your eye, and also protects it against cellular damage.
Nourishing your body with these nutrients helps to keep your eyes healthy and functioning properly. Green peas, broccoli, turnips and aubergine are other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Blueberries: The beautiful blueberry is one of the very best berries you can eat for bright-eyed dazzle.
They get their intense blue hue from anthocyanin, an antioxidant that can help to boost your eyesight, and are the highest scored antioxidant food there is (according to their ‘oxygen radical absorbance capacity’).
The carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants in blueberries, plus the ACE antioxidant vitamins, zinc and selenium, are as important for healthy eyes and vision as they are for your skin. The generous quantity of dietary fibre in blueberries, means that they help to clear toxic waste from your intestinal tract, which in turn leads to better health and brighter eyes.
Beetroot: The intensely coloured beetroot is another wonderful food for shiny, clear eyes, thanks to their multitude of detoxifying nutrients. It’s an incredibly cleansing type of food, mainly for the liver, kidneys and blood.
The pigment, betacyanin, is responsible for their vibrant red colour. It’s a powerful liver booster and blood builder, helping to increase your blood’s capacity to carry oxygen by up to 400% as well as supporting your body’s cleansing power by removing toxic waste. Have you tried my recipe for blood-cleansing beetroot fries in Eat Yourself Beautiful yet?
Sweet Potatoes, Apricots, Pumpkin and Carrots: Bright orange fruit and veggies get their wonderful colour from beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A and an important nutrient for healthy vision. They help your eyes adjust to dimmer light at night, which is why you’ve always been told to eat your carrots to see in the dark!
Try my Butterflied Sweet Potatoes for an easy and nourishing bright-eye meal 🙂
Beans and Legumes: Chickpeas, mung beans, kidney beans and lentils are example of the beans and legumes you should be eating to include zinc in your diet.
Vitamin A is liberated from the liver with the help of zinc, where it is used in your eye tissues for repair. A deficiency in zinc may cause the macula at the centre of the retina to deteriorate.
I love this Split Yellow Pea Sunshine Dahl for a legume-based meal!