Juicing Benefits Juicing Tips Google+0Facebook0Twitter0Pinterest0LinkedIn0Juicing for eyes sounds like a funny thing to be doing until you remember that fruits and vegetables (and herbs!) contain all sorts of goodies that strengthen and protect our peepers. From the minute we wake up each morning to the second we fall asleep at night, we rely on our eyes to bring us from place to place and to help us assess and react to our environment. If eyes are the windows to your soul, you should probably be looking after them – right? Today, everywhere we look is another screen – another device putting strain on our eyes. Doctors’ offices, supermarkets, even our pockets are riddled with screens that we rely on daily for…well…everything. Quick tip: If you, like pretty much everyone else who works in an office, spend a lot of time in front of the computer, consider donning a pair of blue light blocking protection glasses. They help reduce eye strain and fatigue and there’s so many styles, you’ll be able to find something that looks good, too. Our sensitive eyes are the first things in our body affected by allergens and air pollution, because they’re always open. We may not realize it when we’re young, but all these factors can age our eyes quicker than you’d like to believe. According to the World Health Organization, 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Of those people, 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision. 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above. Cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries. This may not surprise you. Many elderly people struggle with cataracts—maybe you even struggle with cataracts—and may, or may not, be able to correct the issue with surgery. Or maybe you have perfectly healthy eyes right now but worry about the constant strain that each day puts on your precious peepers. So, how can we keep these eye issues at bay? How do we protect our eyes from conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts? Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids are the answers. Juicing for Eyes: 8 Best Foods to Juice Juicing fruits and veggies that contribute to eye health is so easy – you may already be doing it. But in case you want an extra boost of eye health improving goodness, here are some of the best foods for eyes to add to your juicer! Kale Remember that air pollution we were talking about? Antioxidants fight off damage from air pollution—and kale has some great ones. Dark, leafy greens are ideal foods to add to your juicer for eye health. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in kale are not available in most other foods we eat, and they’ll protect your eyes from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and even sunlight damage. Want some delicious kale juice recipes? Spinach Spinach is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin—those antioxidants that keep the part of the eye called the macula healthy. The macula absorbs harmful sun-rays and damaging light that threaten our eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin support and protect the macula by absorbing blue light. These antioxidants will also help maintain vision long-term. Citrus fruits Vitamin C, another important antioxidant for eye health, is available in citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, pomelo, and lemon. Vitamin C is an important factor in forming and maintaining connective tissue, like collagen, found in the cornea of the eye. It also supports the delicate blood vessels in the capillaries of the retina. Studies suggest that vitamin C may protect the eyes from developing cataracts, and from vision loss due to macular degeneration. Berries Berries are also a great source of vitamin C. Not to mention that blueberries are among the richest source of antioxidants—combating free radicals which cause damage to the eyes. In just one cup, blueberries contain 14 milligrams of vitamin C. They also contain a fair amount of vitamins A and E, which may stop the formation of cataracts, and zinc, which protects against macular degeneration. Just one cup of strawberries provides 150% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. So pack in those berries! Carrots How do you know that carrots are good for your eyes…? Ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses? Oh man. An oldie, but a goodie…But seriously. Carrots actually are good for your eyes. They are rich in beta-carotene, a pigment that can help improve and maintain eyesight. According to the Scientific American, “The body uses beta-carotene to make vitamin A…which helps the eye convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain, allowing people to see under conditions of low light.” Vitamin A also supports cornea health. It is not uncommon, in certain areas such as Nepal or India, for children to go blind due to vitamin A deficiency. Don’t eat too many, though! Everything in moderation. Too many carrots and your skin can actually adopt an orange tint! Broccoli Broccoli is rich in lutein and vitamins A and C, which as we know, are all eyesight-boosting, cataract-blasting nutrients that will keep those eye diseases at bay. Additionally, sulforaphane and sinigrin are two compounds found in cruciferous vegetables (brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower broccoli) that protect the eye from ultraviolet light and disease. Beets Did you know that beet juice for eye floaters is a simple, natural remedy that you can make for yourself in the comfort of your own home? Beets are great for eyes since they contain both lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are critical to eye health. But that’s not all – beets are also one of the richest natural sources of dietary nitrates, which the body naturally converts to nitric oxide (NO), which serves as an ocular hypotensive agent as well as regulates intraocular pressure and blood flow. Plus, beet juice is delicious and sweetens up any juice recipe so add it liberally to boost the eye health factor in any juice recipe! Brussels sprouts Brussels sprouts are also a cruciferous vegetable containing a lot of antioxidants (including our friends, lutein and zeaxanthin) and other nutrients important for maintaining eye health. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C. Red peppers If you thought oranges contained a lot of vitamin C, red peppers contain three times the amount. They are also high in vitamin A, supporting healthy eyes and night vision. Best Juice Recipes for Healthy Eyes So let’s get into these recipes shall we? Each and every one of these delicious juices supports eye health in one way or another. You know there’ll be a lot of carrots and leafy greens here! Juice for Healthy Eyes This juice contains ingredients that repair broken capillaries, lower intraocular pressure, support the liver which helps repair the eyes, speeds regeneration of rhodopsin, and nourishes the optic nerve. That’s a lot of good eye stuff. image courtesy of Raw Edibles Here’s what you need: 8 carrots 2 endives 2 inches ginger ½ fennel bulb & greens 2 apples 2 lemons Juice to Combat Macular Degeneration This juice is packed with fruits and veggies that will keep your macula in tip-top shape with lots of lutein and zeaxanthin. Here’s what you need: 1 cup broccoli 1 red pepper 1 apple 1 cup leafy greens (spinach, kale, or collard greens) Juice to Combat Cataracts A broad range of nutrients including vitamins C and E, lutein, and beta-carotene are needed to combat cataracts. This juice contains them all! Here’s what you need: 2 carrots 2 sticks celery 1 cup spinach 1 apple 1/2 cup blueberries a handful of parsley Throw a little (or a lot!) of each in, and your eyes will thank you, very much. Smoothie to Combat Dry Eyes Whether it’s seasonal, chronic, or just plain annoying, you can combat dry eyes with this delicious smoothie recipe. It’s sure to keep you bright eyed and bushy tailed! Here’s what you need: 1 cup almond milk 1 cup mashed sweet potato, cooked and cooled 1 medium carrot, chopped 1 cup pineapple 2 tbsp walnuts 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds Juicing (or blending) these fruits and veggies will help you pull out all those essential nutrients needed to keep you seeing clearly for a long, long time. 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