With Easter fast approaching, opticians are advising sweet-toothed South Devon people that chocolate eggs can be good for their eyes.
While too much fat and sugar is bad for our health, dark chocolate in moderation has a range of benefits for the eyes.
Giles Edmonds, Specsavers clinical services director, said: ‘As dark chocolate has higher proportions of cocoa in it, it is a much better alternative to milk and white varieties.
‘Although often still high in sugar and fat, when eaten in moderation it can be a good source of iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and also offers a range of antioxidants, flavonoids and flavone, which can be of benefit to eye health.
‘In fact, a study shows that dark chocolate can help to improve visual perception and another suggests that the flavanols found within dark chocolate can have a positive effect on our blood vessels. As our retinas contain lots of blood vessels, this could also have a positive impact on our eyes .
‘Other research suggests that flavonoids within dark chocolate can help lower oxidative stress, which can help protect the eyes from damage. And copper, which is also found within dark chocolate, has also been shown to help protect against optic nerve damage .
‘Another vitamin which can be found in good quality dark chocolate is vitamin A. This is a vitamin which contributes greatly to healthy eyesight. It can help us to see in low-light conditions and also supports the function of the cornea, which is the protective outer layer of the eye. Without enough vitamin A, you might find that your eyes don’t produce enough moisture to stay lubricated, which can often cause discomfort .
‘While evidence suggests there are some health benefits to be had with chocolate, it is important to maintain a well-balanced and healthy diet to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.’
For more information or to request an appointment at your local store, visit www.specsavers.co.uk
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