Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an uncomfortable eye condition that can cause redness, itching, and inflammation in the eyes. The condition is quite rampant these days, which calls for our attention to precautionary measures. While medications and proper eye care are essential for treating conjunctivitis, a well-balanced diet can also play a significant role in promoting eye health and alleviating symptoms. One group of nutrients that has been linked to eye health is omega fatty acids.
Understanding Omega Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that our bodies cannot produce on their own, so we must obtain them from the foods we eat. There are three main types of omega fatty acids: omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9. For conjunctivitis relief, omega-3 fatty acids have been highlighted as they have been extensively studied for their eye health benefits.
Also Read: Diet For Healthy Eyes: Expert Reveals Foods That Benefit Our Eyes
How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Benefit Eye Health:
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial components of cell membranes in the eyes and play a vital role in maintaining proper eye structure and function. These fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which can be particularly beneficial in reducing inflammation and discomfort associated with conjunctivitis.
A study published in the National Library Of Medicine recognized that lipid mediators have important roles in the pathophysiology of allergic diseases, including allergic conjunctivitis. The researchers conducted a study on mice and found out that dietary omega-3 FAs reduced these inflammatory lipid mediators in the conjunctiva and alleviated allergic conjunctivitis symptoms.
Another research in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science revealed that dietary omega-3 fatty acids might exert therapeutic effects on allergic conjunctivitis by regulating multiple processes in the body.
How To Include Omega Fatty Acids in Your Meals:
1. Fatty Fish:
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Including these fish in your diet at least twice a week can significantly boost your omega-3 intake. Grilled, baked, or steamed preparations are healthier choices compared to fried options.
2. Chia Seeds and Flaxseeds:
Chia seeds and flaxseeds are rich plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Sprinkle a tablespoon of chia or ground flaxseeds over your breakfast cereal, yoghurt, or salads for a crunchy and nutritious addition. You can even add the seeds to your desserts and salads.
Walnuts are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Snack on a handful of walnuts or add them to your salads and oatmeal. The best way to have walnuts is by soaking them in water overnight and consuming them the next morning.
4. Leafy Greens:
Leafy greens like spinach and kale contain a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Include these nutritious greens in your salads, smoothies, and sabzis. Here are some recipes you can try.
5. Fortified Foods:
Did you know that fortified foods are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids? Yes, that’s true. Look for fortified eggs, milk, and yoghurt and increase your omega-3 intake through delicious foods.
Incorporating omega fatty acids into your diet is a simple yet effective way to promote eye health and find relief from conjunctivitis symptoms.