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Take Care of Your Eyes

Do you look forward to the green grass, red and yellow tulips, and all the other beautiful, blooming colors of spring? In honor of nature's rebirth and the beauty around us, let's consider how to maintain healthy vision. April has two national observances for eye health: Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.
Take Care of Your Eyes

Photo used under license from www.istockphoto.com

Eat healthfully. Protecting your eyes starts with the food on your plate, especially brightly colored fruit and vegetables. Consider your eyes if you plant a garden, and when you write your grocery list or visit a farmers market this summer.

  • Green leafy vegetable (such as spinach, kale), corn, peas, collard green, orange and yellow bell peppers and egg yolk naturally contain the eye-healthy pigments "zeaxanthin" and "lutein."

Get regular physical activity. Exercise improves blood circulation and increases oxygen levels to the eyes. Enjoy warmer weather by taking a walk in the morning, during a lunch break, or in the evening. Gardening is a form of exercise and a way to grown your own food.

  • Did you know? SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits can be used to purchase seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.

Wear sunglasses. Protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays when outdoors. Be sure your sunglasses have UV-A and UV-B protection to block both forms of ultraviolet rays.

Take breaks from your "screen." Staring at your computer, TV, or phone screen can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, trouble focusing at a distance, dry eyes, headaches, and neck, back, and shoulder pain.Consider these tips:

  • Every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • At least every two hours, get up and take a 15-minute break to be away from a screen.

See www.ndsu.edu/boomers for more information about nutrition, exercise and your eyes.

 

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise April 2015 newsletter (PDF)

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