With Easter just around the corner, we thought we’d explore the various nutritional benefits of chocolate and of course carrots for the Easter Bunny! It turns out chocolate really is good for your eyesight. Dark chocolate has long been recognised for its health-boosting properties, including decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure, but recent studies have shown the flavonols may help to improve eyesight in dark or low-contrast conditions. Flavonols are believed to be beneficial for eyesight because they increase blood flow to the retina in the eyes. In addition, dark chocolate contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are proven to protect eyesight by reducing the risk of developing common conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
But before you run to the shops to stock up on chocolate, it’s important to know that even the researchers are unsure how much we should eat to reap the benefits. As with most foods, consuming chocolate to excess will inevitably result in weight gain, so it’s important to eat small amounts as part of a balanced diet.
Balance your chocolate intake with yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, which contain vitamins that are important to eye health. The classic vision vegetable is the carrot, which contains large amounts of vitamin A, necessary for a healthy retina. Consuming vitamin A can also help protect the eye from sunlight damage, an important factor as sunlight exposure can contribute to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration.
So if you’re thinking of indulging this Easter, you may just improve your eyesight too!