Research demonstrates that the right nutrition can reduce your risk for developing certain eye conditions, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We’ve made things easy for you by compiling a list of vitamins essential for healthy eyes, as well as a few foods where they are found.
Filled with vitamin A, carrots are the most commonly known food to support eye health. This vitamin is essential for good vision, as it protects the cornea, or the surface of the eye. Additionally, it has minimizing effects on night-blindness, glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. Not a fan of carrots? You’re in luck—spinach, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and eggs are all rich in vitamin A. The good news is that most of us have enough to keep our eyes healthy without needing to gorge on carrots. Only in those who are very sick, malnourished, or frail do we see night blindness from vitamin A deficiency.
This powerful antioxidant is extremely popular—after all, vitamin C may help our immune system, fighting off common-colds, stress-related sickness, and even help prevent stroke. When it comes to our eyes, vitamin C can help lower our risk of developing cataracts. In many cases, cataracts are age-related, so it’s even more important for individuals age 40 and over to seek out foods high in vitamin C. You can find it in peppers, dark leafy green vegetables, strawberries and oranges.
For our eyes, vitamin E helps reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Vitamin E can be found in dark leafy greens, peppers, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Lutein functions as a light filter and protects our eyes from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun and protects against age related macular degeneration (AMD). Our bodies do not synthesize this vitamin on its own, so it’s important to incorporate leafy dark green vegetables like kale or collards (in addition to avocados). Avocados are a great source of the vitamin Lutein, which is known as ‘the eye vitamin.’ This nutrient needs fat to be absorbed, so be sure to drizzle on some olive oil before chowing down.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acid can help our eyes in several ways, by helping alleviate symptoms of dry eye syndrome for example. Cold-water fish such as salmon, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts, are all foods high in omega-3.
These days it’s actually fairly easy to obtain the nutrients your eyes need through a healthy diet. By focusing on a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, you’ll be doing your part to ward off eye disease and help keep your vision clearer for years to come.