A Pathologist, Mrs. Ewatomi Godwin, says diseases like diabetes, autoimmune disorders and certain types of cancers can be detected through regular eye exams.
Godwin disclosed this in Abuja on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). She also said that individual lifestyle and genetics had a great influence on healthy eyes.
She, however, added that the best way to maintain healthy eyes was by eating a balanced diet, foods high in fiber, fruits and vegetables, and foods that contain low saturated fats and sugar. She explained that “specifically, Vitamins A, C, E, and Zinc are beneficial to the eyes.
“It is easy to add a few of these ingredients into the diet, especially when they are in season, to take care of the eyes and overall health.” The pathologist recommended dark, leafy greens that contain key nutrients like Lutein and Zeaxanthin for better vision.
She said “these foods contain antioxidants in high concentration. The body does not naturally make all the nutrients it needs, so, it is important to add to our diet.
“Eating lots of leafy greens like kale and spinach will help to protect one’s vision and reduce the risk of cataract and macular degeneration too,” Godwin said.
She noted that carrots could also help to protect the eye due to the Vitamin A in it, “which helps to protect the surface of the eye and check dryness in the eyes.”
According to her, Vitamin A also plays a role in decreasing the risk of vision loss from macular degeneration and cataract.
Godwin said “bell pepper seen all year-round is also good for the eyes. The brightly coloured peppers help to keep the surface of the eyes healthy and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
“Just one cup of bell peppers provides 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C. Bell peppers are fat-free, low-calorie and contain three grams of fiber per cup.’’
She added that pumpkins also contained eye health nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, zinc, fibre, lutein and zeaxanthin. She said that micronutrients help to combat age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and cataract.
She noted that foods rich in omega-3 could help to protect tiny blood vessels in the eyes and improve dry eye symptoms, while foods loaded with zinc could help prevent cataract.