Nutrition is one of the vital aspects of caring for your eyes. For example, consuming vegetables rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin, such as Spinach, Broccoli and Kale may help to reduce the risks for chronic diseases such as Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. One particular vegetable that tastes great and is also chuck full of vitamins and minerals is Sweet potatoes. Sweet Potatoes have a variety of nutrients including Beta- Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium to name a few. This tasty superfood boasts a series of general health benefits including better heart health, anti-cancer fighting properties, stress relief and weight loss. However, did you know that this delicious vegetable is also a good source of eye promoting nutrients? Therefore, here are a series of nutrition benefits this root vegetable provides in improving vision, in addition to its general health benefits:
Source of Beta- Carotene: The Orange Color of sweet potatoes is derived from its Carotenoid content. Carotenoids are defined as pigments that are responsible for giving fruits and vegetables color. From this point of view, Sweet potatoes consist of Beta- Carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the body. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, a large sweet potato consists of 100% of the daily recommended allowance for this nutrient. Vitamin A is an important antioxidant that protects eye cells from damaging and harmful free radicals that cause degenerative diseases, and from this point of view, is essential in promoting better eye health.
Vitamin C and E for Eye Health: According to Ophthalmologist from Duke University, Jill Koury, Scientific Studies show a link between a consumption of Vitamin A, C and E and the promotion of good eye health. According to the American Optometric Association Vitamin C promotes the ocular health of the blood vessels of the eyes. Numerous studies have also identified a link between taking Vitamin C in conjunction with other nutrients such as Beta- Carotene, Vitamin E and Zinc Supplementation. These have been shown to slow down the development of age related Macular Degeneration by 25%. This supplementation was also attributed to a 19% decrease in the loss of visual acuity (sharpness of eyesight).
Better Digestion: According to Rebecca Katz of the “Longevity Kitchen Magazine” when eaten with the skins, this nutrient rich eye food provides more fiber than a cup of Oatmeal thereby helping the digestive system to function more efficiently.
Anticancer Fighting Properties: According to the National institutes of Health scientific studies suggest that Beta- Carotene has been shown to reduce the risks of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women and ovarian cancer in post-menopausal women.
Heart Health: Sweet potatoes consist of potassium that supports heart health by lowering blood pressure, and according to the American heart Association, consists of an electrolyte that normalizes and regulates healthy heart rhythm.