Antioxidants: The Secret to Sharp Vision?
The right diet—and daily skin care—will help keep your eyes more youthful-looking for years to come.
We've always heard that carrots can help your eyesight—thanks to beta-carotene, the antioxidant, that they contain. But now, a recent study, conducted by researchers at Cornell University, found that the unique antioxidants in coffee may also be critical in helping keep eyesight sharp throughout your life.
Lead researcher Chang Y. Lee, a professor of food science at Cornell, had this to say about the study: "The retina is a thin tissue layer on the inside, back wall of the eye with millions of light-sensitive cells and other nerve cells that receive and organize visual information. It is also one of the most metabolically active tissues, demanding high levels of oxygen and making it prone to oxidative stress. The lack of oxygen and production of free radicals leads to tissue damage and loss of sight."
But antioxidants—particularly those in coffee—can help to reverse this process.
I'm not surprised by this finding because, through my own independent research, I've also found that coffee—namely the berry of the coffee plant called Coffea arabica—is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. This is why I made this the key ingredient in my REPLERE products.
"Coffee—namely the berry of the coffee plant called Coffea arabica—is one of the richest sources of antioxidants."
REPLERE Restore & Fortify Beauty Shooters, shown below, not only contain Coffea arabica, but also a mix of some of the other most powerful and reparative antioxidants: camu camu (a vitamin C-packed fruit), goji and açai berries, chokeberry, blueberries, pomegranate, and resveratrol. I've always known that this daily one-ounce drink can help reverse inflammation in the body—and on the skin. But now, it seems that its antioxidants may also be able to help keep vision sharp.
"Did you know? Coffee is the single most commonly consumed antioxidant source in the United States. The average American drinks 1.64 cups of coffee per day, yielding 1,229 milligrams of antioxidants, four times the amount of antioxidants Americans get from tea."
With that said, coffee's antioxidants aren't the only thing that can keep your eyes sharp—and beautiful. Follow these three tips for beautiful eyes, from the inside out:
1. Eat a balanced diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants called carotenoids (these give the yellow-orange and red pigment to fruits and vegetables like carrots) are also found in mangoes, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots, red grapefruit, and more. These foods are all rich in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps produce pigments in the retina—key to seeing in the dark and in poorly lit areas.
Carotenoids are found, too, in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. You may have heard of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin—both are carotenoids important for keeping vision sharp. In one study, published in the journal Clinics in Dermatology, researchers discovered that these two key antioxidants are actually found in a portion of the eye where light is focused by the lens—why getting enough of these in your diet may help protect against potential damage to this part of the eye.
2. Apply antioxidants—as well as sun protection—around the eyes. We know that the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays cause premature aging (think: wrinkling, pigmentation, and age spots) on the skin. But this can happen even more so on the skin around the eyes, which is extremely thin. This is why I always recommend using a non-chemical sunscreen around the eyes (these won't sting the eyes, so you don't have to constantly worry about your sunscreen running into your eyes). But first, always layer an antioxidant—like REPLERE Renew & Firm Eye Serum (above)—underneath the sunscreen for added protection. Independent research shows that doing so will help protect your skin even more from the sun's UV rays, which trigger aging free radicals.
3. Always wear a pair of sunglasses when outdoors. Look for wide lenses that block 100 percent of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays and cover the entire area around your eyes. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, without UV protection, your eyes are more vulnerable to diseases that cause vision loss— like macular degeneration and cataracts— as well as to cancers of the eyes and eyelid. UV glasses will also prevent eyestrain from squinting on bright, sunny days.
I hope these tips help keep your eyes beautiful—inside and out.
Stay sharp & healthy!