3 Natural spices for healthy eyes
Among all age groups, older adults between the ages of 45years to 100years have higher
susceptibility of coming down with eye disease. This age group battle: hypertensive retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, adult-primary glaucoma, age-related cataracts, unfortunate consequences of refractive errors, inflammatory eye conditions, and legal blindness or total blindness. This susceptibility can be drastically reduced by adding a few healthy spices to your cuisine.
Three of the best natural spices for healthy eye health include 'Turmeric, onions, and Garlic, Most of the spices that have beneficial effects on the eye also benefit the whole body system.
Turmeric is a common spice, especially in Indian cooking and some Asian cooking. In grocery stores in America, UK, and Western World, turmeric is sold as a capsule. If you take a brief time and search turmeric on PubMed, you will get over 4360 hits; this is amazing! Now here is the reason why there are so many searches and researches on this herb/spice.
Turmeric has two primary active ingredients (curcuminoid and curcumin/polyphenols).
Curcumin has a very potent anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, anti-tumor, and anti-angiogenic properties. Recent studies from Chengwei Lu et al. published on PubMed have shown that curcumin can induce cell death in uveal melanoma cells (uveal cancer cells). This goes to tell you that it helps prevent forms of cancer in the eye and the body.
Inflammation and neovascularization can happen in the eye's cornea, but curcumin found in turmeric has various growth factors and cytokines. These growth factors help the wound-healing process in the cornea and also helps neutralize the false-blood-vessel formations. This anti-neo-vascular effect can be especially helpful in people with diabetes, accident victims, and other metabolic conditions where the eye is starved of healthy blood supply.
Turmeric also aids tear production and prevents abnormal evaporation; hence has positive effects for people who live with dry eye diseases. Uveitis is a common inflammatory condition of the eye; a study from 1999 showed that oral curcumin helped patients with ocular uveitis. This is possible due to its anti-inflammatory effects on the uveal tract.
Because turmeric has anti-oxidative effects, it helps prevent age-related cataracts. The
curcumin helps increase vitamin C levels in the body, directly reducing the onset and progression of lens opacification (cataract). Glaucoma is an irreversible chronic vision loss where the eyes optic nerve is damaged due to increased intraocular pressure (eye pressure). In some people, the optic nerve continues to damage even when there is no apparent increase in eye pressure. Turmeric plays a good neuroprotective role.
The neuroprotectors found in curcumin helps control the oxidative damages caused by free radicals. They also prevent mitochondrial dysfunction, and this helps prevent, delay, and manage glaucoma. Turmeric has low bioavailability and solubility. To enjoy the benefits, look for groceries that market packaged turmeric. In capsule form, a 500mg2-4x per day helps people with degrees of eye conditions. Studies are still ongoing on the required dosage for each eye disease condition.
How do Garlic and Onions come in?
Garlic and onion are popular spices around the world. In Africa, it's a widespread food spice. Onions and garlic are sulfur-rich spices. Sulfur-rich spices are essential in the healthy production of glutathione. Glutathione is an enzyme that facilitates the metabolism of xenobiotics and other biological redox reductions.
Having healthy glutathione levels helps prevent and manage visual conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Taking onions and garlic facilitates the healthy production of this healthy-protein (glutathione) in the body, which benefits the eye immensely. Turmeric, garlic, and onions also have other immense benefits in the general body.
These spices act against cancer, osteoarthritis, cardiac diseases, high cholesterol, liver diseases, colds, eye diseases, and other numerous health conditions.
To reap the immense benefits associated with these trio-spices, always incorporate them into your cuisines. Making this effort keeps you safe and improves the existing condition. By doing so, you will gradually aid yourself with healthy living and a healthy eye.
Dr Eboh Festus Chidozie (Optometrist)