Can eating chocolate improve your eyesight? Optician reveals top tips for eye health

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is key to maintaining good eye health, according to Supersavers clinical spokesperson, Dr Nigel Best.

Dark chocolate could protect against a number of diseases in the eyes, including age-related macular degeneration.

Antioxidants in dark chocolate are the key to eye protection. Adding extra antioxidants will help the body to counteract the damaging effects of sun or chemical exposure, and even stress-related complications.

Dark chocolate is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods available. Other dietary sources of antioxidants include pecans, elderberries, blueberries and cranberries.

“Dark chocolate contains high concentrations of the antioxidants, flavonoids,” Best told

“Scientific studies have shown that antioxidants can help protect the eyes from a number of diseases including age related macular degeneration.

“It goes without saying though that overindulgence can have negative impacts for your health, moderation is the key.”

Eating Brussel sprouts, wearing sunglasses, and keeping hydrated are other ways to protect the eyes from damage, he added.

People should wear sunglasses, even in the winter, warned Best.

Harmful sun rays are intensified after they bounce back off the Earth’s surface - including snow.

“Over-exposure to sunlight can cause serious damage to the eyes due to the ultra-violet rays,” he said.

“These effects are heightened when light is intensified as it reflects off surfaces, such as road surfaces, sand or snow.”

Research has also revealed that people with a high intake of vitamin C had a 20 per cent lower risk of cataracts.

Vitamin C is used by the body for healing wounds, and maintaining the health of your bones and teeth.

“Sprouts are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to help keep eyes healthy, and just six sprouts count as one of your five a day (90g),” added Best.

“On top of this, carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, which our bodies make into vitamin A - important for normal vision and a healthy immune system.”