Eye Nutrition

The importance of nutrition in eye health

Research indicates that adding antioxidants and other nutrients found in important super foods and supplements may preserve your eyesight.  Scientists have linked Vitamin A, C and E, zinc and lutein/zeaxanthin plus Omega-3 essential fatty acids to a reduced risk of conditions related to growing older, such as macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts which cloud the eye lens.  Conversely, poor nutrition and lifestyle choices such as smoking can accelerate the development of these eye conditions.

A healthy diet reduces the risk

If you remember only one thing about nutrition and eye health, remember that a healthy diet should include colourful fruits and vegetables.  These contain most of the nutrients that have been identified as essential for good vision.

Individuals at risk for eye problems such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or cataracts due to age, lifestyle or genetics may want to increase daily intakes of specific nutrients.  Warning: In combination with other medications, high intake of certain vitamins and supplements may be detrimental to your total health. Always follow the advice of an eyecare professional and your physician.

Include the following in your diet.
  • Beta-carotene:  Found in orange root vegetables, spinach and kale.  When combined with zinc and Vitamins C and E, this may slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Bioflavonoids:  Found in blueberries, cherries, legumes, tea and red wine.  There is evidence that they protect against AMD and cataracts.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin:  Found in spinach, turnip and collard greens, kale and squash.  May help in the prevention of AMD and cataracts.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids:  Found in salmon, mackerel, herring and fish oil supplements as well as ground flaxseeds and walnuts.  It helps in the prevention of AMD and dry eyes.
  • Selenium:  Found in shrimp, crab, halibut, salmon, Brazil nuts, noodles and brown rice.  In combination with Vitamins C and E, it may be beneficial in reducing the risk of AMD in later stages.
  • Vitamin A:  Found in beef, chicken liver, eggs, milk and butter.  Beneficial for dry eyes and night vision.
  • Vitamin C:  Found in oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries, peppers, kale and broccoli.  Aids in reducing the risk of AMD and cataracts.
  • Vitamin D:  Found in salmon, mackerel, sardines, milk and fortified juices. Exposure to sunlight in limited amounts without sunscreen stimulates the production of Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E:  Found in sunflower seeds, almonds and hazelnuts. When combined with Vitamin C it may help with AMD in later stages.
  • Zinc:  Found in oysters, beef, crab and turkey.  Along with Vitamin A it will help with night vision and may reduce risk of AMD in later stages.

If you are concerned about your vision and the health of your eyes, make sure to book regular visits with an Optometrist.