How to Improve Eye Health Through Your Diet
Our vision begins to deteriorate from the moment we are born, but certain foods can help improve it. Studies have shown that a few key nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamin A and zinc, are critical to eye health. By adding foods that contain these nutrients to your diet, you can easily improve eye health and overall vision, as well as helping other parts of the body. Here are six essential nutrients to proper eye health.
1. Vitamin A
As most people know, carrots are great for the eyes. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is a type of vitamin A. Not only does beta-carotene make carrots orange, but it also provides benefits to the retina and other aspects of eye function. Eating carrots will improve the health of your eyes and help you see better, just like your mother always told you.
2. Vitamin C
In addition to vitamin A, vitamin C is another key vitamin for eye health and improved vision. According to various studies, vitamin C decreases vulnerability to developing cataracts. It can also help prevent age-related macular degeneration and loss of visual acuity, especially when consumed in conjunction with other nutrients. Where is vitamin C found? It is in many fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, berries, and other citrus.
3. Vitamin E
A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is a third vitamin that is essential to good eye health. You can find vitamin E in nuts, such as almonds, as well as in sweet potatoes and fortified cereals. Research shows vitamin E helps by protecting the cells in our eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage healthy tissue; however, antioxidants such as vitamin E protect against them.
4. Lutein & Zeaxanthin
These two nutrients are also powerful antioxidants that work in tandem to decrease your vulnerability to a range of chronic eye diseases, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin are in eggs and leafy green vegetables, such as lettuce, kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, and mustard greens.
Known as a “helper molecule,” zinc is a trace mineral that is critical to eye health. It aids in transporting vitamin A from the liver to the retina, which catalyzes the production of melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes. Zinc also exists in high concentrations in your eyes, particularly in the choroid and retina. Zinc helps prevent age-related macular degeneration, and it can be found in eggs, seafood, spinach, nuts, beans, and beef.
6. Fatty Acids
Last but not least, fatty acids are another necessary component of your diet, and they have the added benefit of improving eye health and vision. Fatty acids are critical to the nervous system, immune system, and cells. In particular, two omega-3 fatty acids are key to improving retina function and the development of good vision. You can find fatty acids in fatty fish, such as trout, tuna, salmon, anchovies, and mackerel.