How many of us are guilty of taking our primary senses for granted? Sight is one thing which we use and rely on every day, but which we never really think about or focus on until something isn’t right.
Long term eye health requires a complex blend of positive lifestyle choices and good nutrition, not to mention taking the time to identify any issues early on so that they can be treated. In essence, to focus on eye health is to focus on general wellbeing and making health choices, while focussing on the nutrients which your eyes need to optimise their vision.
And in order to do that, we first need to strip the topic back to basics and understand exactly what goes on behind the outer lens of our eyes.
The four layers which make up your eye
Most people think about their eyes in terms of the pupils and the retinas, with no real consideration for the layers which lie behind what can be seen on the surface.
In fact, when it comes to eye health there are four main layers that you need to be aware of:
1. The retina
2. The macula
3. Macular carotenoids
4. Macular pigment
The retina is a layer of tissue which sits at the back of the inner eye and converts the images that the eye sees into direct messages to the brain. In the simplest terms, the retina is a bit like the lens through which your vision is focussed and interpreted, sending the images via electric charges to the brain, so that it can identify what it is looking at and generate a response.
The macula is the part of the retina which allows the eye to focus on what lies directly in your line of sight. It is the part of the retina which is engaged when partaking in specific activities which require direct focus, such as reading and writing, driving, and one to one conversation.
Macular carotenoids go one step deeper, supporting the incredibly sensitive macula and ensuring that it has all the nutrients it needs to support central vision. The three macular carotenoids which the body delivers to the macula are lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin – nutrients which can be gained via both diet and supplements.
Finally, the macular pigment denotes the presence of macular carotenoids as a yellow spot at the back of the eye.
Why nutrition is such a key part of eye health
Now that we understand a little more about the eye itself and its structure, why is nutrition such an integral part of eye health?
Well, the health of the macular and thus the effectiveness of the retina depends on the presence of macular carotenoids – but these are not things that the body can produce itself; rather, we must consume them in order to ensure the body and therefore the eyes themselves get what they need for optimum efficiency.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are both most commonly found in leafy green vegetables, corn, and some protein sources such as eggs.
Meso-zeaxanthin can be gained by consuming fish (ideally including the skin to get a really potent hit of this nutrient).
Alternatively, consumers who don’t feel like they consume enough of these products or who want to guarantee an effective dose of these crucial nutrients can explore and add a supplement to their routine – like our One Nutrition Macu Complete supplement.
Not only does this product contain those three integral macular carotenoids but it also contains Zinc to support vision, Vitamin B for overall eye health, and Vitamins C and E for enhanced cell production and protection.
Invest in your eye health
Introducing a supplement like One Nutrition Macu Complete, combined with a good diet and plenty of healthy greens and protein sources can help to support great eye health whatever your age.
Find out more about the complete One Nutrition range our website, or check out our other blog posts for more useful insights.