Eating healthy meals on a regular basis can improve eyesight and help treat common eyesight problems like astigmatism, which happens when the cornea - where most of the eye’s focusing power occurs - is distorted or is not symmetrical.
Ideally, the cornea should have a round shape with a symmetrically curved surface, like a basketball. Those who have astigmatism have an oval or oblong shaped cornea, like a football.
The cornea is the clear lens in front of the colored part of the eye. When it is oval shape rather than round, it is unable to focus light rays at a single point causing vision to be blurred, fuzzy, or distorted. Overtime, perception of depth can also become distorted.
The word astigmatism comes from the Greek a- “without,” and “stigmata,” which means a mark, spot, or puncture.” Common symptoms of astigmatism also include eye pain, headaches, and fatigue.
The exact cause of astigmatism is not known but genetic plays a large part. The cornea of the eye may also lose its natural roundness over time with age. Other factors such as poor posture, stress, fatigue, sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet may also contribute to astigmatism.
While prescription glasses are typically recommended for treating astigmatism, they can make symptoms worse overtime. One way to improve vision and help prevent astigmatism is to eat healthy food, especially those that are rich in vitamins that keep the eyes healthy.
One of the most beneficial foods for the eyes are carrots, which is a good source of beta-carotene that converts into vitamin A, and is important for a clear eyesight. Other foods rich in vitamin A are dark green vegetables like spinach and kale, winter squash, and sweet potatoes.
Avocado is rich in lutein, which helps prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, and is also a good source of eye vitamins like vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Broccoli and eggs should be included in healthy recipes for better eyesight. Broccoli is rich in lutein, calcium, vitamin C, zeaxanthin and sulforaphane—antioxidants that promote healthier eyes.
Eggs are good sources of vitamin lutein, vitamins A, B12, D, cysteine, lecithin, protein and zinc, all of which nourish the eyes. Herbs that may help prevent and slow the progression of astigmatism include curcumin, bilberry, grapeseed extract, gentian root, pine bark extract, and gingko biloba.