1. Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene
This is probably the nutrient most people associate with eye health. Vitamin A is made up of antioxidant compounds that protect the surface of your eye and help to form a barrier against viruses and bacteria. Beta-carotene, which your body converts to Vitamin A, is found most famously in carrots as well as sweet potatoes and spinach.
2. Vitamin C
Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is another antioxidant that strengthens your body’s connective tissues, including collagen in the cornea. Studies suggest long-term consumption can reduce the risk of cataracts. Your body cannot produce Vitamin C on its own, so it must be ingested through foods like citrus fruits, bell peppers and strawberries.
3. Vitamin D
While it’s most commonly associated with bone strength, Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties that can fight the effects of aging on your vision. Low levels of Vitamin D are characteristic of people with myopia (nearsightedness) and macular degeneration. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D, which is also found in dairy products and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
4. Vitamin E
This vitamin is another nutrient that has been shown to have potential benefits in preventing macular degeneration. Vitamin E has been used to treat uveitis, an inflammation of the middle part of the eye. Nuts and seeds are rich sources of Vitamin E.
5. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These carotenoids are found in the macula along with a third substance, meso-zeaxanthin, that must be manufactured in the retina from ingested lutein. Research indicates that these nutrients block blue light from the retina, thereby reducing oxidative damage that can lead to macular regeneration. Leafy green plants like spinach are a good dietary source. Our Phoenix optometrists can advise you on proper nutrition and other vital steps for good eye care. Start on the road to healthy vision maintenance by scheduling an appointment today.