Nutrition and Eye Health
What you consume can play a role in the well-being of these complicated organs. Good nutrition for healthy eyes can help to maintain optimal functioning, prevent problems and even address minor issues such as bloodshot eyes and eye fatigue. While a balanced diet is of course important, making sure you are getting enough of certain nutrients such as vitamin A, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids is important as well.
- Vitamin A as well as phytochemicals such as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are essential for proper functioning and dealing with all eye problems
- B vitamins are used for intracellular eye metabolism
- Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent macular degeneration
- Vitamin C and bioflavonoids will strengthen blood vessels; vitamin C also acts as a protective antioxidant, protecting cells from damage
- Vitamin E also is a protective antioxidant and may help to slow cataract formation
- Zinc deficiency may be linked with retinal detachment
- Copper is needed for healing
- Potassium is necessary for fluid balance
Foods to Focus On
In a diet for healthy eyes it is important to include the following foods regularly as they are packed with beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
Carrots and carrot juice[
Green leafy vegetables
Eggs, which are good sources of zeaxanthin and fish, which are rich in minerals and omega-3 fatty acids are excellent protein sources.
Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is also important for eye health.
What should be minimized in a diet for healthy eyes? Processed foods, red meats, sugar and too many saturated fats all slow metabolism and reduce efficiency.
Supplements to Consider
Eating a well-balanced diet is a great way to get enough nutrition for healthy eyes. If eye problems are common, vision is a concern or if you simply want to enhance eye health and help prevent disease, you can also consider taking supplements. Perhaps the only supplement that may be necessary is simply a high-quality multi-vitamin to ensure the body is getting plenty of all the vitamins and minerals that are needed for eye health. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that taking vitamin C and E, beta carotene and zinc together in high doses reduced the risk of disease by about 25 percent for people who were at high risk for macular degeneration. Other supplements to consider include:
- Evening primrose oil, flax seed oil or fish oil for essential fatty acids
- Grape seed extract because it is very high in antioxidants
Before taking supplements for eye health, be sure to talk to your doctor.
Eating well and making sure the body is getting plenty of nutrition you can support healthy eyes and possibly prevent disease.
Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006)
Page, Linda “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone” 11th Edition (Traditional Wisdom, 2003)
University of Maryland Medical Center. Omega-3 fatty acids. https://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm
Salahi, Lara “Truth Squad: Supplements for Eye Health.” (ABC News) https://abcnews.go.com/Health/EyeHealth/supplements-eye-health-work/story?id=8871245
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