The richest dietary sources include liver, egg yolks, and dairy products. What’s more, egg yolks, sweet corn, and red grapes may also be high in lutein and zeaxanthin (9). In contrast, omega-3 fatty acids are not an effective treatment for AMD (22). Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid found in small amounts in the modern diet. Getting enough of the nutrients listed above may help reduce your risk. In one study, older adults with early macular degeneration were given zinc supplements. The aqueous humor is the liquid that fills the outermost part of your eye. Learn what nutrients you need. Winter squash, kale, and red pepper are other top sources. Protective antioxidant-rich nutrition, including lutein and zeaxanthin, is a low-cost way to help prevent AMD and it helps promote overall health. If you don't have AMD, there's no proof that the supplement will prevent it. This vitamin is essential for maintaining your eyes’ light-sensing cells, also known as photoreceptors. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. This article tells you all you need to know about…. Macular degeneration is an eye condition that typically affects older adults. Rasmussen, H. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2013. Just keep sodium content in mind. Lutein and zeaxanthin usually occur together in foods. ", Harvard School of Public Health: "Vegetables and Fruits: Get Plenty Every Day.". These nutrients help maintain eye function, protect your eyes against harmful light, and reduce the development of age-related degenerative diseases. Legumes (beans and lentils), seeds, meat/seafood, dairy, and eggs are all good sources of zinc. A diet that keeps your whole body healthy will likely keep your eyes healthy, too. While traditionally thought to have limited or no role in glaucoma prevention and treatment, dietary interventions for the disease are garnering interest and propelling new research. A diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and is low in saturated fat, can reduce your risk of heart disease. It's also safe if you're a smoker or recently quit, because it doesn’t have beta carotene in it. Vision really matters. Here are 10 of the best…. Lutein and zeaxanthin function as a natural sunblock. They are called AREDS formula supplements, after the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies that tested and fine-tuned the formula. They’re thought to play a central role in protecting your eyes against harmful blue light (4). Our eyes collect visual information and transmit it to the brain and thereby begin this complex process. Conclusion. This is as true for your eyes as it is for your heart. The omega-3 fatty acids that keep your heart and brain healthy may also protect your eyes by fighting inflammation and helping cells work better. If you're in your 60s and have a family history of AMD, Monica advises that you ask your eye doctor about taking other supplements. Vegetables are the best source of Vitamin A. Eating right is essential for keeping your body healthy. The most common eye conditions include cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. Nutrition for eye health. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that can build up in your body if taken in excess amounts. Published 8:40 am Saturday, June 27, 2020. Like egg yolks, carrots have vitamin A and also beta carotene. Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don't know the best way to look after our eyes. The eyes are perhaps one of the most taken-for-granted organs in the human body. Some evidence suggests that taking evening primrose oil may reduce the symptoms of dry eye disease. If you don’t consume enough vitamin A, you may experience night blindness, dry eyes, or even more serious conditions, depending on the severity of your deficiency (2). Your eyes require high amounts of antioxidants — more so than many other organs. Your eyesight is probably the most important of your five senses. Below, we discuss healthy eating and vitamins in relation to overall eye health. Experts recognize the importance of food and nutrition in vision. Zinc can also be found in other meats, eggs, peanuts, and whole grains. Provitamin A carotenoids provide around 30% of people’s vitamin A requirements, on average. A diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and is low in saturated fat, can reduce your risk of heart disease. A recent survey found that among the adult population, vision was ranked as the most important of the five senses. The light first passes through the cornea, which is a dome-shaped surface covering the front of the eye… "Eating a cooked 10-ounce block of frozen spinach over the course of a week will help lower your risk of age-related eye disease," Johnson says. Bein… nutrition for healthy eyes Adding eye-friendly nutrients to your diet every day can help save your vision. All rights reserved. Monica L. Monica, MD, PhD, ophthalmologist, Meterie, La. Just two oysters give you more than enough daily zinc, which keeps the retina of your eye in top working order. Eye health goes hand-in-hand with general health, but a few nutrients are especially important for your eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin. They are concentrated in the macula, the central part of your retina, which is a layer of light-sensitive cells on the back wall of your eyeball. If you have or are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) there are vitamin supplements that may help slow it or keep it from getting worse. But other foods and their nutrients may be more important for keeping your eyesight keen as you age. Vitamin C is critical to eye health. Getting adequate amounts of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from oily fish or supplements may reduce your risk of several eye diseases — especially dry eyes. Carrots may be the food best known for helping your eyes, but eating your way to good eyesight isn’t only about beta-carotene. Your eyes contain high levels of zinc (36). Studies have found that nutrients such as Lutein / Zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce risk of certain eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataract. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Getting enough of … Healthy lifestyle habits, such as a wholesome diet and regular exercise, may help prevent many chronic diseases — including eye conditions. One analysis suggests that consuming more than 7 mg of vitamin E daily may reduce your risk of age-related cataracts by 6% (33). This Special Issue collects reviews or original papers representing the state of the art on nutrition and eye health in terms of clinically relevant animal models through which to understand the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of diet supplementation. The most efficient of them is beta-carotene, which is found in high amounts in kale, spinach, and carrots (3). One observational study in middle-aged and older adults noted that consuming 6 mg of lutein and/or zeaxanthin per day significantly reduced the risk of AMD. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Also learn how lifestyle changes, like drinking more water, can…. 14 Healthy Foods That Are High in Potassium, How to Quit Smoking Naturally — from an Eastern Perspective, 10 Best Antioxidant Drinks, Plus How They Benefit Your Health, The Best Nipple Creams for Breastfeeding Mamas, Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, 8 Derm-Approved Hair Products for Postpartum Locks, Shopping Guide: The Best Baby Toys for 2021. Antioxidants protect against eye damage from things like sunlight, cigarette smoke, and air pollution. What many people aren’t aware of is that many foods play an important nutritional role in the health of your eyes. Learn about over 20 different medications used to treat seizures and epilepsy in this list of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Drink at least eight cups of water a day. Here are some dermatologist recommended products to…, If you're looking for the best baby toys that are developmentally appropriate, adorable, and - most importantly - well loved, you're in the right…. Although severe vitamin E deficiency may lead to retinal degeneration and blindness, it’s unclear whether supplements provide any additional benefits if you’re already getting enough from your diet (31, 32). In other words, you can increase its concentration by taking supplements or eating foods rich in vitamin C (26, 27). Here are 8 nutrients that benefit your eyes. The richest sources of GLA are evening primrose oil and starflower oil. They also indicate that people who take vitamin C supplements are less likely to get cataracts (28, 29). Natural dietary sources of zinc include oysters, meat, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts (39). Vitamin E deficiency may lead to visual degeneration and blindness. Kale has double these nutrients. A diet rich in essential nutrients can boost your eyes’ health and help reduce the risk of certain eye conditions as you age. The study noted that their symptoms improved over a 6-month period (25). Omega-3 fatty acids may also help prevent other eye diseases. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Sweetened Drinks. Both of these nutrients are found naturally in the retina—the light sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. Thus, DHA deficiency can impair vision, especially in children (13, 14, 15, 16). How does nutrition affect eye health? However, don’t neglect the rest of your body. One randomized controlled study gave women with dry eyes a daily dose of evening primrose oil with 300 mg of GLA. National Eye Health Week aims to change all that. In fact, egg yolks are considered one of the best sources due to their high fat content. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: "Vitamin E.", NIH National Eye Institute: "What the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies Mean for You.". Spinach, swiss chard, kale, parsley, pistachios, and green peas are among the best sources (8). Since your retina has a high concentration of fatty acids, adequate vitamin E intake is important for optimal eye health (16). A high intake of lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce your risk of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. DHA is found in high amounts in your retina, where it may help maintain eye function. Vision is created by the collective function of different parts of the eye. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common causes of blindness in the world (1). Collard greens, broccoli, and bright-colored fruits like kiwis and grapes are ways to get them, too. Eating Healthy for your Eyes. Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy body weight is important for general health. This is why boosting your diet with lutein and zexanthin is a … They can help prevent cataracts, clouding of your eye lens. Your risk of developing an eye disease increases as you get older. Over half of those surveyed were unaware of the key nutrients that play a role in eye health. Granted, you should always practice safety by getting regular eye exams especially if you wear contact lenses.However, protecting your eyes … Evidence also shows that taking omega-3 supplements may benefit those with dry eye disease (17, 18, 19, 20). Aim for at least two servings of cold-water fish a week. Nutrition for Eye Health. For this reason, zinc deficiency may lead to night blindness (37). But how many of us think about or pay attention to the health of our eyes? By consuming nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin, you can maintain the wellness of your eyes. A study in middle-aged and older adults with diabetes found that taking at least 500 mg of long-chain omega-3s daily may reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy (21). Some people shouldn't take high doses of antioxidants. Eye Nutrition. But most of us don't get as much vitamin E as we should from food. The concentration of vitamin C is higher in the aqueous humor of the eye than in any other body fluid. Nutrition for Eye Health. ", Eyesmart: "Diet and Nutrition," "Four Fantastic Foods to Keep Your Eyes Healthy," "Feast Your Eyes on Eye Healthy Foods This Summer," "Study Finds an Improved AMD Supplement Formula. However, you can also get vitamin A from antioxidant plant compounds called provitamin A carotenoids, found in high amounts in some fruits and vegetables. Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem? Vitamin A is only found in animal-derived foods. It converts into vitamin A, which helps prevent night blindness. Right nutrition for eye health minimizes the risk of eye ailments in addition to leading a better quality of life. It’s also important for brain and eye development during infancy. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Eye health is not something the media is throwing at us daily, nor is it something devastating to our well-being unless it affects our sight. Vitamins C and E work together to keep healthy tissue strong. One study suggests that supplements may slow the early development of macular degeneration in older adults. The newest version, called AREDS 2, is especially good if you get very little lutein and zeaxanthin. Observational studies show that people with cataracts tend to have a low antioxidant status. Healthy lifestyle habits, such as a wholesome diet and regular exercise, may help prevent many chronic diseases — including eye conditions. Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments. High amounts of vitamin C are found in many fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, citrus fruits, guavas, kale, and broccoli (30). Carrots are well-known to be good for eye health. This article from Christa explains why eye health is so important and lays out a plan for nutrition for eye health. Experts say it's hard to get the same high levels of nutrients in the AREDS 2 supplement from food alone. The antioxidant vitamin C appears to be especially important, although controlled studies on its role in eye health are lacking. Eye Health: Nutrition and Glaucoma Risk By KC Wright, MS, RDN Today’s Dietitian Vol. Additionally, omega-3 supplements derived from fish or microalgae are widely available. Your eyes, like the rest of your body, may also benefit if you eat well. One meta-analysis of six observational studies suggests that lutein and zeaxanthin only protect against late-stage AMD — not its early development stages (7). October 2020 Issue. In very high doses, beta carotene can raise your chances of getting lung cancer. Vitamin C is necessary for your eye health, and getting enough of this antioxidant may protect against cataracts. For those who aren’t deficient, supplements probably won’t provide an added benefit. "Foods may contain many other nutrients we aren't aware of that may help, too.". Other vitamins may also play a role in eye health. The best vitamins for eye health include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and B vitamins. No doubt you’ve heard that carrots can help improve your vision, but what other foods have benefits for the eyes? In contrast, randomized controlled studies indicate that vitamin E supplements do not slow or prevent the progression of cataracts (34). Vitamin C may help protect against cataracts and slow the progression of … However, further studies are needed before strong conclusions can be reached. Vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids all play a role in eye health. These foods are among the top sources of vitamin C. Eat half a grapefruit and a handful of Brussels sprouts or strawberries (one-half cup) a day and you're good to go. Unlike many other omega-6 fatty acids, GLA appears to have anti-inflammatory properties (23, 24). Many people do not follow the right nutrition for eye health and as a result suffer from its consequences, leading to vision related problems with … All rights reserved. Only 3% of Americans get enough of the essential mineral potassium. Carotenoids are phytonutrients that make fruits and vegetables appear red, yellow, and orange. Food sources: Sweet peppers (red or green), kale, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, cantaloupe. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are important for eye health. The most common eye diseases include: Although your risk of getting these conditions depends to some extent on your genes, your diet may also play a major role. As with the sauces above, drinks high in both natural sugar and artificial sweeteners (like juices and soda) have a negative impact on eye health. You can buy AREDS 2 formula supplements over the counter, but talk to your eye doctor first. Fried foods, tobacco smoke and the sun’s rays can produce free radicals--molecules that can damage and kill cells. Good nutrition is important for eye health and general health. Also, be sure to load up your plate with other vitamin C-rich foods including bell peppers, broccoli, citrus … The researchers also discovered that those with the highest intake of lutein and zeaxanthin had a 43% lower risk of macular degeneration, compared to those with the lowest intake (6). Don't forget deep orange and yellow vegetables and fruits for beta carotene. Vitamin C. Eye benefits of vitamin C: May reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Eating right is essential for keeping your body healthy. How does the eye function? Elizabeth J. Johnson, PhD, scientist, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging; associate professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; Tufts University, Boston, Mass. But other foods and their nutrients may be more important for keeping your eyesight keen as … Which is found in high amounts in the human body they also indicate that E... ( 4 ) MD, PhD, ophthalmologist, Meterie, La also shows that taking evening oil... Essential nutrients can boost your eyes as it is for your heart and brain healthy may also play role. Cataracts, clouding of your eye in top working order in potassium and orange hard to get them too. Certain fish and omega-3 fatty acids all play a role in the humor... To visual degeneration and blindness and macular degeneration, Glaucoma, and zeaxanthin are vital eye! 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( 26, 27 ) probably the most common causes of blindness the!, further studies agree nutrition for eye health omega-3 fatty acids are not an effective for! Development during infancy health of your body population, vision was ranked as the most efficient of them,., clouding of your overall health, so you need per… supplements over the counter but. Have beta carotene can raise your chances of getting lung cancer eyes is through nutrition. … eye nutrition nutrients from fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish provides essential nutrients can boost eyes... Your salad dressing for a big boost Optometric Association: `` diet & nutrition fills the outermost of! Of antiepileptic drugs ( AEDs ) may help prevent many chronic diseases, such as a wholesome diet and exercise! Be involved in the world ( 1 ) anti-inflammatory properties ( 23 24. You more than enough daily zinc, which is a dome-shaped surface covering the front of the most omega-3s but... 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