How can your diet help with dry eye?
Some foods are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants that are excellent for dry eye.
Michelin-starred chef Antoine Gras and Dr Doan, an ophthalmologist specialising in dry eye at the Rothschild Foundation and Bichat Hospital in Paris, get together to make us a vegetarian hummus. If you wear contact lenses, you may suffer from dry eye, because they are one of the main causes of this disease. So here’s our advice: replace lenses with lentils, they’re much better for your eyes!
Why is lentil hummus good for our eyes?
Hummus is usually prepared using chickpeas, but here we use lentils. Why lentils? Because they are rich in vitamin B, particularly vitamin B9, which is important for regenerating the ocular surface. But that’s not all. It also plays a role in depression. So eating lentils has a dual impact: it limits the effects of dry eye and improves our psychological state.
Our recipe also includes hazelnuts. These nuts are packed full of vitamin E, a very powerful antioxidant that acts on the eyes. Hazelnuts also contain omega-3, which is excellent for improving the ocular surface and tear quality, as well as reducing the inflammation caused by dry eye.
This hummus can be enjoyed with raw vegetables such as:
- carrots, which have a high beta-carotene content. Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, a very important antioxidant for dry eye and a substance that enables the retina to function
- cucumbers, which contain antioxidants
- broccoli, which is rich in vitamin C and therefore reduces oxidation in the eyes and slows down cell ageing.
One of the modern causes of dry eye is surgery for short-sightedness. During this surgery, an incision is made in the cornea, which cuts through certain nerves. These nerves are important not only to maintain sensation in the eyes, but to keep the tear film balanced.
Patients who have undergone refractive surgery very often experience dryness after the operation and produce fewer tears. This dryness of the eyes subsides as the nerves regenerate, usually within a few weeks or months. If regeneration is not complete, some degree of dryness may persist.
So, if you have just undergone refractive surgery, why not make our vegetarian hummus to limit the effects of dry eye?!
Focus: hazelnut and vitamin E
- Vitamin E protects against oxidative stress and facilitates the absorption of vitamin A, which is necessary for good eye irrigation and therefore plays a preventive role in dry eye
- Daily vitamin E intake (adult): 15 mg
- 2 g vitamin E per 30 g of hazelnuts
- 500 g Puy lentils
- 100 g hazelnut oil
- 30 g hazelnuts
Soak the lentils in water overnight. Cook in boiling water and then cool.
Blend the cold lentils with hazelnut oil. Meanwhile, cut up the raw vegetables.
Place the hummus and chopped hazelnut in a shallow bowl and add a few whole lentils on top.
Place the sliced raw vegetables on another plate.