It would be rare to find an article about eye health and even rarer to find one that discusses the fact that eye health substantially (not entirely) depends on nutrition, as does the health of the rest of our body.

The state of our eyes reflects the state of our being. We all know what ‘hangover’ eyes look like or what ‘lack of sleep eyes’ look like; those states are obvious. Less obvious is the slow development of cataracts or glaucoma and similar eye diseases. Are these eye diseases simply unlucky eye genes or are they more reflective of a lack of vital Livingness?

The eye is formed from brain tissue and is as highly sensitive an organ as any other. In the same way as for brain health, the eye relies a lot on what we ingest. The eye too suffers from stress and the oxidative consequences of stress can in part be neutralised by consuming leafy vegetables of the likes of kale, spinach, and broccoli.

According to Dr Sam Berne (a thought leader in the field of Behavioural/Holistic Optometry and Vision Therapy for over thirty years), the common cataract condition can often be traced back to a lack of glutathione (said to be the master anti-oxidant of the body), which is found in the leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli.

The common cataract develops from causes such as metabolic waste, exposure to the sun, and possibly blue light from computers – it is all about the state of our being or, said another way, our Livingness. There are no blood vessels that go to the lens, so this structure relies on nutrients for quality energy and for protection against stresses. One of the ways to counter these cataract-causing effects is to consume sufficient anti-oxidants. Another concern is the increasing theory that too much carbohydrate (thereby stimulating excessive insulin) could also be a contributing cause of cataracts. Food is constantly a distraction from our awareness.

Dr Berne stresses that we need to eat better and that, for the health of our eyes, plant based foods are important [i].

He also discusses that there is a direct correlation between macular degeneration and inflammation of the digestive system and therefore the need to consider probiotics. (The macula is the central area of the retina, the nerve tissue which lines the inside of the eye and which allows us to see things directly in front of us and facilitates an appreciation of colour, faces and fine detail).

Lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly important nutrients for the macula area and are found in particularly high levels in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and silver beet. They are also present in a range of other vegetables such as peas, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, corn and beans.

So, it is a similar theme as elsewhere. Give the eye some gentle exercises to do, eat a substantially green leafy vegetable diet, stay away from the sugars and carbohydrates and, in the case of the eyes, limit one’s exposure to those ubiquitous blue light screens.

And finally, the mother of all ‘poisons’ – sugar: ingestion of sugar changes the brain and body chemistry, which very much includes the eyes. Sugar is a contributing factor in macular degeneration, cataracts and generally creates problems for the meshwork of the eyes. When it comes to the eyes, there is nothing good about refined sugar and even sugar derived from fresh fruits needs to be moderated.

Food and eye health are strongly correlated, both negatively and positively. But then again, it is never just about food – there is always a reason that impulses the food choices.

Why would we choose to live less than the full power of who we truly are? Why would we choose to see less than what we are made to see? There is more to these eyes than the eye can see.

Have a feel into it.


  • [i]

    24 Minute Interview of Dr Sam Berne by Dr David Perlmutter

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  • By Neil Gamble, Chairman & Director of Companies, Retired CEO

  • Photography: Matt Paul