Your general health plays a large role in your eye health. However, some nutrients can protect your eyes, reduce your chances of age-related degenerative diseases, and maintain optimal eye function. Here are five vital vitamins and nutrients to promote healthy eyes.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids plays two roles in healthy eye function. First, it can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy when taken daily (on advice of a medical professional). It can also have a profound effect on the symptoms of dry eyes.
For natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids, choose oily fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, and mackerel. Vegans can also purchase supplements made from microalgae.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A deficiency is among the most common causes of blindness across the globe. Insufficient vitamin A consumption can lead to dry eyes, night blindness, and more serious conditions.
You can find vitamin A in animal-based foods such as egg yolks, dairy products, and liver. Provitamin A carotenoids are found in leafy greens, tomatoes, and yellow or orange vegetables.
- Vitamin C
The liquid inside your eyes contains more vitamin C than any other bodily fluid. This vitamin serves as an antioxidant. People with lower levels of vitamin C may have a higher chance of developing cataracts.
Levels of vitamin C in your eye fluids are directly proportional to your consumption of the nutrient. You can find it in foods such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, kale, and broccoli.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These yellow carotenoid antioxidants act as a natural sunblock for your eyes. Scientists believe they play a vital role in protecting your eyes from blue light. They may also reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration.
You can find these nutrients in foods such as green peas, pistachios, spinach, kale, egg yolks, sweet corn, and red grapes.
- Vitamin E
This nutrient protects your eyes against harmful oxidation. It can also help prevent age-related cataracts, retinal degeneration, and blindness. Studies show consuming this vitamin through supplements has less effect than consuming it in foods.
Foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, and vegetable oils.