EYE SUPPORT Our eyes provide us with the precious gift of sight. It comprises one of our five senses, allowing us to engage fully with the world around us. Free radical damage due to ageing, dietary, lifestyle, and environmental factors can gradually weaken eyesight, and can lead to deterioration in both the young and the old. Regardless of age, steps should be taken to ensure that the eyesight remains strong for years to come. Keep your eyes healthy with the following nutritional recommendations: • Bilberry supports the small capillaries which supply blood to the eyes, strengthening and improving circulation, while providing valuable anti-oxidants. • Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids, found in green vegetables such as kale and spinach. Lutein and zeaxanthin help to prevent the onset of diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts, and are concentrated in the macula of the eye. The macula of the eye is where the centre of our vision lies. • Ginkgo biloba is a herb which acts as a circulatory stimulant, improving circulation to the extremities and carrying with it nutrients and anti-oxidants to feed the tissues. • Zinc and Selenium are minerals and with anti-oxidant effects which promote the health of the eyes by fighting free radicals which cause damage and premature ageing to tissues. • Vitamins A, C, and E are anti-oxidants which contribute to eye health by fighting free radicals. • Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful anti-oxidant which recycles vitamins A, C, and E so that they can be re-used by the body. • Astaxanthin is a red carotenoid which is found in high quantities in salmon. Astaxanthin reduces the oxidative damage caused by free radicals and helps to prevent the onset of macular degeneration and cataract formation. • Essential fatty acids such as fish oil or flaxseed oil are vital for the health of the eyes. Fatty acids act as the building blocks for the brain and eyes, and offer lubrication and prevention of ‘dry eyes’. Other tips and ideas: • Quit smoking, as cigarette smoke increases free radical production and causes micro-vascular damage. • As well as generally consuming a diet full of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, focus on eating plenty of green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. They provide the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. • Eliminate sugar consumption, as sugar is damaging to the blood vessels of the eye.