Figs for the Eyes: How Figs Help Improve Eye Health

Figs for the Eyes: How Figs Help Improve Eye Health

  • 18 October, 2022
  • Holly Brockman

Contributed by Arleen Atienza

Figs, the unique fruit of the Ficus carica tree, are naturally sweet and nutritious. They are approximately the size of your thumb, contain hundreds of tiny seeds, and have an edible purple or green peel. The pink flesh of the fruit tastes mildly sweet.

Figs are a superfood associated with good health and longevity in several cultures for centuries. Figs, including their leaves, are high in nutrients and provide many health benefits. They promote healthy digestion, reduce the risk of heart disease, and help manage blood sugar levels.

Figs are also rich in vitamins and minerals that help maintain eye function, protect the eyes from harmful light, and prevent the onset of age-related degenerative eye diseases. Continue reading to see how figs can help preserve eye health and prevent vision loss.

Nutritional Value of Figs for Eye Health

Good vision is essential for leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Many professions require excellent eyesight, with some sectors disqualifying individuals who need eyeglasses or contact lenses to see better. Don’t let your dream job slip away because of poor vision. 

Figs are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for optimal eye function. The following are some of the nutrients you can find in figs:

Antioxidants

Antioxidants help to prevent numerous eye diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. They neutralize free radicals in your body and combat oxidation, a chemical reaction that causes cell damage.

Figs, particularly ripe ones, are abundant in phytochemicals known as polyphenols. These protective plant compounds have antioxidant properties that keep oxygen from interacting with other chemicals and damaging cells and tissues.

Carotenoids

Carotenoids are pigments responsible for fruits and vegetables’ vibrant red, orange, yellow, and green colors. Figs contain carotenoids that are beneficial for eyesight and can help prevent and protect against vision 

loss. Carotenoids can also protect your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light and reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration.

The macula is the most sensitive portion of the retina in the eye. It is responsible for central vision, most color vision, and fine detail perception. Three dietary carotenoids, namely lutein, meso-zeaxanthin, and zeaxanthin, compose the pigment in the macula that protects millions of photoreceptor cells found in this small region of the central retina.

Vitamin A

Figs have a high content of vitamin A beneficial to vision. Vitamin A plays a vital role in vision by preserving the cornea, the transparent, protective outer layer of the eye. Vitamin A is also a necessary precursor for the formation of rhodopsin, the protein in your eyes that enables you to see in low light conditions. Rhodopsin cannot form without vitamin A, leading to night blindness.

Vitamin A also helps protect against other eye conditions. Several studies suggest that diets rich in vitamin A may be associated with a lower risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Vitamin C

While both fresh and dried figs are delicious and rich in nutrients, fresh figs are lower in calories and sugar and provide more vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that may protect your eyes from harmful free radicals.

Several studies have shown that vitamin C may help lower your risk of developing cataracts, a disorder that causes your eye to grow cloudy and hinders vision. When combined with other vital nutrients, vitamin C can also delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.

Potassium

Figs are high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, minerals that work together not only to increase bone density but also promote eye health.

Potassium, in particular, is beneficial for dry eyes because it is one of the main components of your tear film that covers the exposed cornea. Low 

potassium levels have been associated with tear film degradation. Figs contain potassium, essential for maintaining film thickness.

Figs to Fight the Dark Circles and Bags Under Your Eyes

The bags and dark circles under and around your eyes are typically the result of aging, insufficient sleep, stress, and working too long in front of a computer. They can also be caused by allergies, chronic sinus problems, excessive salt intake, an unhealthy diet, smoking, or drinking too much alcohol.

While they are certainly not a serious skin problem—and they can effectively be covered with makeup—the dark circles and puffiness around your eyes make you look tired, stressed, and older than your actual age.

Fortunately, figs are a fantastic skincare ingredient. Whether you incorporate figs into your diet or use them as a mask, they can improve the appearance of your skin.

To prepare a mask:

  1. Use either one large fig or two small figs.
  2. Cut the fig in half, scoop out the flesh, and thoroughly mash it. You can also add a teaspoon of honey or yogurt for better results.
  3. Apply the mask to your face, leave it on for five minutes, and then wash it off with clean water.

Say goodbye to dark circles and hello to rejuvenated skin!

Final Thoughts on Figs

Figs offer a range of health benefits. Aside from promoting eye health and preventing chronic eye diseases, figs boost immunity, reduce cancer risk, lower cholesterol and sugar levels, strengthen bones, and help manage various skin conditions. 

Fresh figs, dried figs, and fig leaves make great additions to a healthy diet. Check out FigBrew for a healthy coffee alternative crafted to keep you bright-eyed and energized without the adverse side effects of coffee.

About the Author

Arleen Atienza has been writing for several organizations and individuals in the past six years. Her educational background in Psychology and professional experience in corporate enable her to approach a wide range of topics including finance, business, beauty, health and wellness, and law, to name a few.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed physician. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider regarding a medical condition.

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