The eye – the miracle of sight
Our eyes are among the smallest but most high-performing organs in our bodies. We use our eyes to help differentiate between light and dark, and also perceive colours and perspectives. About 70% of all stimuli from the world around us is absorbed via the eyes. The sensory cells in the retina are responsible for our vision. The ‘yellow spot’ or macula has the largest quantity of sensory cells and is the point of sharpest vision.
Micronutrients enhance your vision
Our eyes are our window on the world and it is therefore important to support our vision with a balanced supply of micronutrients. Hardly any other sensory organ is as important for our quality of life.
Micronutrients for healthy eyes
Micronutrients can help your vision. The following micronutrients can be ingested through food.
- Vitamins are organic compounds required by the body for vital functions.
Vitamin A is particularly important for vision because it is directly involved in the visual process. Good sources of vitamin A include yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. But large quantities are found in liver as well, for example. The B vitamins are also crucial because they contribute to normal functioning of the nervous system, including the optic nerve. A distinction is made between vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
- Phytonutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin are responsible for the yellow colour of the macula. The level of these phytonutrients in the macula and retina is a thousand times higher than in the blood, for example, and they play a significant role in the structure of the macula. Large quantities of lutein and zeaxanthin are found in spinach, curly kale and sweetcorn, and also in egg yolk.
- Omega-3 fatty acids belong to the group of unsaturated fatty acids and contribute to the maintenance of normal vision. They are also a key constituent of the light-sensitive cells in the retina. Fatty coldwater fish, such as mackerel, eel and salmon, supply valuable omega-3 fatty acids.
- Minerals and trace elements are essential for vision. Zinc, for example, is a trace element that is important for the visual process. Oysters contain a large amount of zinc, for instance.
Micronutrients for your inner sunglasses
A sufficient supply of micronutrients can provide our vision with targeted help, but the right combination is vital. Phytonutrients such as carotenoids, for instance, are also needed in your diet. The most important carotenoids include lutein and zeaxanthin, and particularly good sources are carrots, honeydew melons, spinach and apricots, for example. In order to ensure good absorption by your body, it is important for a small amount of fat to be consumed at the same time.
Tips for healthy eyes
Rest and soothe your eyes in periods of rest by simply placing the palms of your hands over your eyes, curving your hands away from your eyes without applying any pressure. Looking at things close up all the time also strains the eyes, so look out of the window at more distant objects from time to time. Particularly in the summer, but also in the winter when the sun is especially low in the sky, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes against the bright sunlight. A balanced diet is good for your eyes and ensures a sufficient supply of important micronutrients.