I have a highly contagious staphylococcal infection in my eye that is related to a surgery that I had last fall… and I almost didn’t post this picture because it looks so disgusting, but alas. This presents another opportunity for me to tout the virtues of a healthy diet. Mind you, one’s diet has no direct bearing on an eye infection, You can’t eat an anti-inflammatory burger and instantly become infection-free. However, there are certain nutrients which are especially important for good eye health. Research suggests that vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamins B6, B9 and B12 help to keep the eyes healthy and functioning well. Omega-3 fatty acids and minerals such as zinc can also help. Antioxidants such as lutein help to prevent the accumulation of waste matter in the retina and this lowers the risk of other types of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. My point is while food does not directly cause or prevent an eye infection, eating the right foods can help keep the eyes healthy….and when eyes are healthy, one is less likely to come down with an infection. That said, I eat an almost perfect diet, but I STILL got an infection. sigh….but again, this is related to a surgical mishap. While I have this infection I am drinking a lot of green juice and eating many leafy greens. It also helps that I have an ER doc as a friend….
Ok….Here’s what can help:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables which are good sources of vitamins C and E
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach which contain vitamin E and lutein
- Yellow and orange vegetables and fruits which are high in beta carotene
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and sardines which are valuable sources of omega-3 fatty acids, only I never eat meat, so I have to get substitute nutrients from somewhere else.
- Eggs, whole grains and other things that contain zinc
- Potatoes, bananas and dried beans which supply vitamin B6
- Mushrooms, peas, citrus fruits and nuts which contain folic acid
- Foods and supplements that provide vitamin B12
A diet that contains too many refined carbohydrates such as white breads, pasta and rice can increase the risk of eye conditions. Therefore, these must be replaced with complex carbohydrates such as whole grains. Those who suffer from recurrent eye infections should also consult a doctor regarding the intake of vitamin and mineral supplements.