How Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Promote Eye Health?
Staying healthy is the first step toward a prosperous lifestyle. We drink water, eat healthy meals, and exercise. One thing we often tend to neglect, however, is our eyes. Just like every organ, our eyes are there to serve a purpose, a very important at that. This means that they need just as much care and focus, excuse the pun, as the rest of our body. A good place to start would be to make sure that you are getting a sufficient dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.
What Is Omega-3?
Omega-3 belongs to a family of essential fatty acids that have a vital role in the human body. These fatty acids have several bonds in the chemical structure of our beings and essence, this means that they are just as responsible for keeping us healthy as other nutrients.
As the name suggests, Omega 3 is divided into three important types, namely alpha-linolenic acid (LA), docosahexaenoic (DHA) acid and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These fatty acids are needed for optimal functioning of the human body and since we cannot produce them on our own, we need to make sure that we get them from the food that we eat.
All About Vision refers to fatty acids as the “building blocks” that are necessary for the production of hormone-like compounds that aid in maintaining blood pressure, heart rate, and blood clotting.
How Can It Benefit Your Eyesight?
When it comes to eye health and the different factors involved, then the omega-3s seem to be on peak performance with the following:
- Age-related macular degeneration: As we age, our bodies begin to tire and do not repair themselves as quickly as they once did. When it comes to our eyes, one of the first things to start failing is our retinas. The retina of the eye is responsible for using photoreceptors to process light. DHA has proven to be a nutrient that regenerates this section of the eye and protects retinal pigment cells from damage and age-related degeneration.
- Diabetic retinopathy: If you battle with your blood sugar then you are at risk of diabetic retinopathy, a disease that damages the blood vessels in the tissue found behind the retina. Recent studies have indicated that a diet high in omega-3 reduces the emergence of harmful new blood vessel growth.
- Glaucoma: Blood tests taken from individuals who suffer from Glaucoma tend to show low levels of DHA and EHA fatty acids. By increasing the intake of Omega-3s, one can enhance the microcirculation of blood flow in the eye and optic nerve, thus reducing the effects or onset of Glaucoma.
- Infant vision development: Omega-3 is naturally found in breast milk. Infant-formula manufacturers have followed suit to ensure that powdered milk is well supplemented with this nutrient too. This is because many studies, including one done by the Harvard School of Public Health, have analysed that infants who were fed DHA-supplemented milk showed significantly better visual acuity at 2 and 4 months of age, compared with other pre-term babies who were fed a formula that lacked this supplement.
What Are the Best Sources of Omega-3?
Luckily for us, getting a good daily quantity of Omegas into our system is not a difficult feat. By incorporating the following foods into your diet, your eyes should be getting all the fatty acids they need. Fill your plate with:
- Animals sources. Free-range eggs, chicken, and beef may contain DPA as well as smaller quantities of EPA.
- Marine sources. Many ocean-sourced foods are loaded with substantial quantities of omega-3s, especially DHA. Examples are oily fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Anchovies, Salmon, Trout, Herring, and Tuna. Seafood like Calamari, Scallops, and Mussels, are also rich in omega-3.
- Plant sources. Plant-based oils like Canola oil, perilla and soybean oil contain alpha-linolenic acid – one of the Omegas.
- Nuts and seeds. Walnuts, Chia seeds, and Flaxseeds have a high Omega-3 content.
- Other food sources. You’ll find a good amount of all the omega-3s in rich and dark green leafy vegetables such as Spinach, Kale, Radish seeds, dried tarragon, and basil.
- Supplements. If you simply cannot stomach any of the above, then you could ask your local pharmacist for supplements that will nourish you with the Omega-3s that you will need for ultimate eye health.
Keeping to a well-balanced and healthy diet that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids will form the foundation for your overall well-being, including your vision. Adding Omegas to your meals will have many advantages and could be the reason why you have perfect eyesight despite your age.