Saturday, May 18, 2024
Plant Based Lifestyle

How to improve, treat and cure your eyes using a plant based diet.

Photograph by Free-Photos

When I was in elementary school my parents one day took my siblings and me to the eye doctor. One thing I hate is someone trying to probe my eyes; I just can’t help feeling that my private space is being violated!

I distinctly remember that the doctor was a really old sweet man who also wore glasses and he had them almost resting on the tip of his nose giving him a patriarchal and authority look. That’s how mostly teachers or people that want to pass themselves as being experts on a matter wear their glasses by the way.

Some people wear glasses like that even if they don’t need glasses. Some people wear their sunglasses like that too. Next time you see a man or a woman wearing their glasses in that way stop and think how you feel and it’s a feeling that this person knows what it’s talking about. A big part of why you feel like that it’s because the glasses are resting on the tip of the nose.

The doctor applied a construction that looked like a skeleton of glasses, but it had more spots for lenses, and some parts were able to open on the side of my eyesight. Being from a young age curious of everything mechanical I soon started asking the good doc torquestions about the testing apparatus. The device actually relaxed me and took the feeling of someone invading my privacy away, maybe because I was focused on the device.

He then proceed by changing various lenses in each eye socket of the testing device, then he would ask me to read letters and numbers, and how clear they were or not.

After doing that for about 10 minutes or so he removed the testing apparatus, and my brother took my place.

Now I had the opportunity to observe what the doctor did to me from another vantage point, so I had the chance to watch the testing eye apparatus from a different angle making my curiosity even bigger but at the same time answered questions that were created while I was in the chair my brother was now.

After my brother finished my sister took her turn, same procedure. My parents were sitting next to us speaking to us calming and comforting words to keep us relaxed and to give us the safety every kid needs when is introduce to anything new that disrupts it’s everyday routine and life.

After we all had finished the doctor said that my brother eyesight was 20/20, that means perfect but he said mine was not, he said I had astigmatism in both eyes.

He said it was not much, but I needed glasses so that it won’t get worst. Well, I didn’t like the idea of me wearing glasses I mean I could see just fine and read just fine.

So the doctor took a prescription pad scribble a few words on it and then tear the page from his block and gave it to my mom.

Next stop was the optician’s shop where there we gave the doctors paper and after about a week just before the new year starts in school my new glasses came in a beautiful blue case.

My mother gave them to me and told me that I should wear them whenever I read or watch television, so that was a relief I didn’t like wearing them while I was playing with the other kids.

I loved the glasses they had a light brown skeleton that was a match with my eyes and hair, and plus brown is one of my favorite colors, maybe because it reminds me of our mother, Gaia.

Next day at school I went with my glasses, and for the first time in my life, I realized that kids could be petty when faced with something they don’t like or don’t understand.

Needless to say, most of the kids made fun of my glasses, call me names and in general made me feel like I was defective or something.

After being bullied for a few days, more precisely verbally bullied about my glasses I stop using them.

I would wear them at home, or when I watched tv which was not often, we prefer to play outside than sit in front of the stupid box all day like most kids does these days. We will play hide and seek, soccer, run after each other, run after butterflies, etc. After elementary school I did not wear any glasses as astigmatism went away, the doctor told me that that sometimes happens.

The first year at the university I bought a computer since my studies were about computer engineering and informatics, it turns out that curiosity I had for anything mechanic and how it works let me follow an engineering path.

After using the computer for six months, I started getting headaches all of a sudden so after trying a few pain killers and saw that the migraines kept bothering me I went to an oculist where this time he used a fancy computer and a fancy testing eye apparatus. I stuck my face into the machine and images of a road and colors were appearing, and each time the doctor will ask me questions, but the whole procedure was too fast and too automatic. I missed the old eye testing apparatus of my youth; it might took longer, but it seems to me it was more human than the lifeless, cold computerized version of it.

After I finished my brother took my place, and once again I watched the doctor work on him, but this time for some reason I wasn’t all that curious about how the computerized eye testing worked. Maybe because  I was already in my second year in my computer studies and I already knew how computers operate.

After the examination, the doctor announced that my brother eyesight is 20/20 again (grrrr) (smile) and that I had developed Myopia meaning nearsightedness or shortsightedness.

After the doctor said that I knew what was going to follow, yep I needed glasses again, he also suggested contact lenses, but the thought of something in my eyes made my hair off my back raise like they do when I see a thriller movie, so it was no thank you on that front.

My custom made glasses were ready a week after the examination and from the age of 22 until 38 they were a part of me.

I wore those glasses every day except when I was taking a shower or when I was sleeping. They became so ingrained into my life that sometimes when I wasn’t wearing them, I felt naked, I felt that something was missing.

If I wasn’t wearing them, I couldn’t focus and sometimes when someone was talking to me, and I was not on my glasses I will tell him or her wait to wear my glasses so I can hear you better!

In 2012 one beautiful morning while I was at work I was doing my 5 minutes eye break from my computer, and as my eye doctor advised I was looking on the horizon, so my eyes will rest.  After a while  I noticed that the window was not that clean, it had some black spots on it, so I took a paper towel and some cleaning liquid and started to clean the window, to my surprise the shady spots were not disappearing and even worse they were changing places on the window!!!

It turns out that the windows were just fine it was my eyes that had the problem. As you can imagine, I got panicked and proceeded to make an eye doctor appointment and got a physical.

Doctor was cool. About my age, told me not to worry, it happens when we get older (smile). He told me if I start to see a lot more then call him and he will arrange for a laser treatment that will fix the problem.

I asked him if I can still lift weights and he said yes as long it’s not too heavy.

Now that was back in 2012; I was at a point in my life where I acquire a lot of information about plant-based diet, and I met a lot of people that were Vegans. After that, my way of thinking and my whole mindset on how the human body works and how everything revolves around me were starting to shifting to my from my settle down knowledge. In a nutshell, I was in an internal esoteric turmoil as what I thought I knew was valid or not.

All that internal war inside me came to a halt when in 2013 I decided to adopt a plant-based diet not knowing if I could sustain it. The whole 2013 was a trial and error year as a plant-based lifestyle was a concern, a few times  I almost quit, but something inside me kept me going, reassured me that I was on the right path of my nutrition quest and thankfully I stayed on that path.

It turns out that a plant-based diet is beneficial for our health.  A lot of the so-called modern chronic diseases like diabetes II, heart disease, high cholesterol, blood pressure, a lot of cancers are a direct and indirect result of our indulgence in processed and refined food, packed with white sugar and fat and also animal consumption.

From my saga with plants, and is something that will never stop, I realized that by eliminating the middle man(animals) from our diet we allow our body to function better and our immune system starts to operate in higher levels of efficiency, protecting our body more efficiently and in real time.

Saying all that I realized that I could improve the function and the health of my eyesight by incorporating items that are helpful for my eyes, namely more fruits and vegetables, natural juices and smoothies.

There are scientific papers and researchers out there that prove that your eyesight can improve to the better by adopting a plant-based diet, you can even treat glaucoma!

The latest new on my vision front is that the doctor about two years ago told me that I don’t need glasses because myopia on my right eye is gone but replaced by farsightedness! And it’s balancing my eyesight with myopia on my left eye, so after about 30 years I don’t need glasses anymore, hurray! (smile)

On a more serious aspect now, I did notice that my floating black spots did not increase at all and I firmly believe is because of my active, athletic lifestyle and adopted a plant-based diet that kept the symptoms from worsening.

There are some substances contained in fruits and vegetables, and in legumes and greens and in general in the plant kingdom that improves, treat and cure eye illnesses.

Some of them are Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are splendid for the back of our eyes. The secret is to consume dark leafy vegetables that have a high percentage of lutein and also fruits and vegetables of various colors which increase the dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin.

More research and papers indicate that maize (corn) contains the highest mole percentage (% of total) of lutein and zeaxanthin. Maize was the vegetable with the highest quantity of lutein (60% of total) now I know why I love my popcorn, I can treat my eyes with goodies while watching my favorite movie!

Orange pepper on the other side is the vegetable with the highest amount of zeaxanthin (37% of total).  Significant traces of lutein and zeaxanthin (30–50%) they are also present in kiwi fruit, grapes, spinach, orange juice, zucchini (or vegetable marrow), and different kinds of squash. Now that is winter I eat every night orange squash soup which is yummy, warm and turns out improve my eyes health.

One tip of advice is that when you are making a salad, apply the rainbow rule which means try to have in your salad as much colors as possible, green, red, yellow, orange blue, etc. By increasing the variety of your colors in your food and not just for salads you increase the intake of lutein and zeaxanthin and that means you increase your eye health.

Other foods that are good for your eyes are Goji berries, carrots, kale, and spinach; Popeye knew something when he was gulping down spinach every chance he got!

If you are not convinced about the deleterious effects of animal eating and the beneficial consequences of a plant-based diet on your general health and in your eyes then maybe a touch of vanity will do the trick.

There are studies out there that show beyond reasonable doubt that a plant based diet and one that incorporates yellow and green vegetables prevents wrinkles around the eyes and the side of the eyes.

One important vitamin that is essential for the eyes is vitamin A where you can find it small amounts in red, orange, yellow and dark green vegetables and fruits.

Especially if you have dry eyes symptoms, it’s advisable to lower, cholesterol, protein, and fat intake and increase complex unrefined carbs and also increase your water intake.

People that want to improve their tear ducts functions like people that work in front of a computer all day like me! And also people that wear contact lenses should follow this simple recipe.

Also, reduce caffeine and alcohol, and incorporate into your diet plant-based foods that are rich in zinc, and folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

Glaucoma is a sneaky disease where the optic nerve that connects with our brains gets damaged. Again scientific research shows that a proper plant based diet you can treat glaucoma efficiently and sometimes prevent it.

The secret ingredient that was found to do that is anthocyanins which are a Greek word meaning blue flowers. The secret here is to think blue, fruits and vegetables that have blue color contain this very healthy and nourishing for our eyes substances.

Blueberries, and Blackcurrant, Grapes, blue potatoes, etc. Studies showed that people with glaucoma get beneficial outcomes if they eat berries every day.

Do not try to get these substances with supplements; you won’t see any results, you must get them through food, good health is not based on atomic intake of vitamins or minerals good health is founded in synergy in cooperation. When you eat a fruit lets say an orange you get vitamin C which is good to fight off the flu and is an excellent antioxidant, and also you get calcium which is much better option than the calcium in milk. The same time you get fiber that will help you absorb vitamin C and the calcium better, also it will help you with your bowel movement, the unsolvable fiber will carry with it toxins and poisons that the body dumps in the large intestine fro disposal.

Synergy is your weapon remember that.

So in a nutshell, eat as many fruits and vegetables you can every day, try to eat as many colors as possible. Eat legumes (complex unrefined carbs) starches (potatoes, brown rice, corn). Try to get in you as much lutein, zeaxanthin, and anthocyanins with your food and not with pills and you be fine.

Avoid as much as you can or limit animal products, caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks.

A special note to people with brighter eyes like green and blue and especially blue eyes. Have you noticed that people with blue eyes as they get older their eye color fades away? That’s because they don’t eat many anthocyanins anymore so if you have the blue eyes increase of food with anthocyanins might delay the fade away action, purple cabbage has a lot of it by the way.

I always like to search, and my latest find Is this fantastic cookbook entitled: Healthy Smoothie: 51 original smoothie recipes for good eyesight Kindle Edition by Tori Smith which is perfect for someone that wants to improve its vision while enjoying a nice tasty smoothie!

I highly recommend this book is full of unusual combinations and recipes and it will help you with your eyes.

After all, our eyes are the doorways of our soul, and we should take extra good care of them.


Andreas Michaelides

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