We are a nation of coffee drinkers. In fact, in the UK alone we drink approximately 55 million cups of coffee every day.
Thousands of studies have looked at coffee use in the past few decades and lately, more and more are reporting the real health benefits for coffee drinkers, from helping prevent diabetes, to lowering the risk of liver diseases.
However, did you know drinking a daily espresso could could also stop you going blind?
Scientists from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, have proved that coffee consumption can ward-off ‘age-related macular degeneration’, or ‘AMD’, which is the world’s leading cause of sight loss. In the UK, over 600,000 people are affected with this condition, where the ability to see clearly changes and vision becomes increasingly blurred.
Scientist Dr Rufino Silva analysed 883 people aged 55 and older in central Portugal between 2013 and 2015 and found that participants who drank ‘high levels’ of coffee - 78mg a day, the equivalent of one shot of espresso - were far less likely to suffer vision disease.
Just 45% of those who drank lots of coffee went on to develop AMD compared with 55% of those who didn’t like a dark brew.
Focus Clinics very own Dr David Allamby has welcomed the research. He says:
“While the debate rages about the positives and negatives of coffee, this latest research into eyesight is not surprising in the least. A cup of coffee is typically full of nutrients, such as pantothenic acid, vitamin B2, potassium and manganese, while it’s also a powerful antioxidant"
He goes on to add: “All of this, as has been proved by the scientists in Portugal, is going to aid eye health, and it pushes coffee ever further into the definition ‘superfood’, even though it might be a well kept secret at present.”
So, now we can add coffee to the long list of superfoods that can help improve eyesight, slow down ageing of your eyes and help keep your eyes in good health. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and fish all contain nutrients and vitamins that have also been proven to benefit the eyes.
Dr Allamby says:
“Diet plays a key part in every facet of your health, and that includes your eyes. Vitamin A has been shown to help protect the surface of the eye, while antioxidants found in fruits like oranges and lemons can also help fight eye infections. Recent research by King’s College London found that oranges can slow the harmful effects of cataracts, a condition where the lens of the eye becomes progressively more cloudy and can often lead to total sight loss.”
However that’s not all. Dr Allamby also recommends a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential for vision development in children and can help protect adults suffering from certain vision problems.
He adds: “These acids, found in sardines, salmon, tuna and mackerel, can ward off ‘dry eye’.
Tear film has a layer of oil which helps keep water on the surface of the eye. If you are deficient in omega-3s, you may suffer.”
To give your eyesight the best chance of survival, why not check out this list of 15 other superfoods foods that can help improve eye health.