Eye health goes hand-in-hand with general health, but a few nutrients are especially important to improve and protect vision.
Nutrients help maintain eye function, protect your eyes against harmful light, and reduce the development of age-related degenerative diseases.
Certain vitamins and minerals found in food may play a role in preventing two common causes of vision problems, cataracts—cloudy areas in the lens of the eye, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Research suggests that antioxidants and other important nutrients may reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids appear to help the eye in a variety of ways, from alleviating symptoms of dry eye syndrome to guarding against macular damage.
Here are the nutrients that are essential to improve and protect vision,
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining your eyes’ light-sensing cells, also known as photoreceptors.
This essential vitamin may protect vision of eyes against night blindness and dry eyes, and sometimes even more severe conditions.
Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common causes of blindness in the world.
It is only found in animal-derived foods. The richest dietary sources include liver, egg yolks, and dairy products.
Some other food examples are Beef or chicken liver.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acid
The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are important for eye health.
DHA is found in high amounts in your retina, where it may help maintain eye function. It’s also important for brain and eye development during infancy.
Consumption of this may help prevent macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eyes.
Some of the common food sources of Omega-3 Fatty acid which can improve and protect your vision are cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring; fish oil supplements, freshly ground flaxseeds, walnuts.
However, the best dietary source of this is Oily Fish. Additionally, omega-3 supplements derived from fish or microalgae are widely available.
3. Vitamin C
Your eyes require high amounts of antioxidants, more so than many other organs.
The concentration of vitamin C is higher in the aqueous humor, which is the liquid in the outermost part of our eye than any other body part.
The levels of vitamin C in the aqueous humor are directly proportional to its dietary intake. In other words, the Vitamin C level can be increased by taking diet rich in it.
High amounts of vitamin C are found in many fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, citrus fruits, guavas, kale, broccoli, sweet peppers (red or green), strawberries, and cantaloupe.
Appropriate levels of this vitamin may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
For proper eyes and their vision, Zinc is another nutrient which is very important for improvising and protecting vision.
Zinc is a part of many essential enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, which functions as an antioxidant.
It helps in the production of melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes.
It helps vitamin A reduce the risk of night blindness and may play a role in reducing risk of advanced AMD.
Dietary sources of this are Oysters, , meat, pumpkin seeds, beef, Dungeness crab, turkey (dark meat).
5. Vitamin E
Retina has a high concentration of fatty acids and adequate vitamin E intake is important for optimal eye health as Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects fatty acids from harmful oxidation.
When combined with carotenoids and vitamin C it may reduce the risk of advanced AMD. It may even protect from retinal degeneration and blindness.
Almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed oils, spinach, broccoli, shrimp, and olive oil are some of the essential and great sources of vitamin E.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Strawberries