Nutrition and Eye Health
It goes beyond carrots.
Proper nutrition is as much a part of eye health as receiving regular eye exams. Even if you aren’t experiencing a problem with your vision right now, healthy nutrition will help your eyes stay healthy for as long as possible. There are many different nutrients that are essential for maintaining healthy eyes.
Lutien and Zeaxanthin are found in a wide variety of leafy greens and in eggs. Recent studies have shown that both nutrients can help reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Vitamin C can help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and has been reported to help slow visual acuity loss. Vitamin C can be found in bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, broccoli, berries and of course, citrus fruit.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that help protect the eyes from pollutants and free radicals. Some studies show that Vitamin E can help prevent the development of cataracts and can help slow the progression of retinal damage. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, fortified cereals and sweet potatoes.
Essential Fatty Acids found in fish and flaxseed, olive, canola and sunflower oils help with the metabolic processes in the body. They are shown to improve brain function and can help with heart function as well. In the eyes, essential fatty acids are important for proper visual development and help the retinas to function as they should.
Zinc is a mineral that helps boost the immune system and helps the brain to function properly. The macula in the back of the eye contains high levels of zinc so maintaining proper levels will help with vision. Also Zinc helps create melanin which can protect the eye from UV damage.
Make sure to talk to your eye doctor about your diet to see if you are getting adequate levels of these nutrients. If you aren’t getting enough from your regular diet, your optometrist may suggest supplements or have other suggestions for you so that your eyes are receiving the benefits of proper nutrition.