Taking care of your body physically with a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet can significantly benefit your eye health. Moreover, good nutrition can help to minimize potential vision issues. There are also shelves of nutritional supplements claiming to boost your eye health, which can be overwhelming. And all this may make you think about which vitamins and minerals are the most effective? There is a lot of variation in supplements explicitly made for vision, and there is limited regulation in the supplement field.
In this article, we outline six vitamins that are essential for good eye health, which includes:
- Lutein and zeaxanthin
- Good vision- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3
Lutein and zeaxanthin
They are botanical antioxidants that are typically sourced from marigold flowers. It is also found in foods like leafy greens. Secondly, lutein and zeaxanthin help filter out high-energy blue wavelengths of light that can be harmful to the eyes. The body doesn’t produce enough of these carotenoids that are found in green leafy vegetables. Examples of fruits containing these vitamins include kale, one of the richest sources, corn, grapes, broccoli, kiwi fruit, peas and eggs, which many of us still don’t eat enough in our diet. These are a helpful supplement. However, these vitamins are prized for their ability to protect the retina from the damaging effects of blue UV rays. Because lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the macula, they are often marketed as eye health supplements. However, it helps protect against age-related macular degeneration(AMD), which damages your vision.
Vitamin A is necessary for good vision. It works by helping your body produce melanin, a pigment that protects the eye. The increase in the amount of vitamin A in the diet may reduce your risks of cataracts. Secondly, vitamin A is found in liver, dairy foods and cod liver oil. Thirdly, too much Vitamin A can cause health problems and can be particularly harmful in pregnancy. It is commonly found in foods like carrots. It will reduce inflammation, protect the eyes surface, enhance the immune system’s function, and lead to better night vision.
This vitamin can support the health of your blood vessels and help you absorb iron better. It will also lower your risk of developing cataracts by as much as 64% when taken as a regular supplement. This essential vitamin is involved in nearly all levels of cellular function. Often described as being necessary to a healthy diet, Vitamin C is a highly effective antioxidant that will also slow cataracts and help to keep your eyes clear and healthy. Luckily it is found in several fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, kiwi’s strawberries and even broccoli.
Many studies have also found Vitamin E to have considerable benefits in the fight against cataracts and macular degeneration. It is mostly found in nuts like almonds and peanuts, you can also find traces in dried apricots and sunflower seeds. This antioxidant may help prevent or delay AMD onset and potentially minimize the risk for cataracts. Natural forms of vitamin E are more beneficial in supplement form than synthetic ones. You can tell the difference based on the prefix on the label. Natural forms of vitamin E are labelled with a “d-” prefix, whereas synthetic forms will have a “dl-” prefix. Found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals, vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin. Antioxidants help protect against excess free radicals, also called oxidative stress, which damages the body.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Fatty acids like omega-3s are often found in fish and fish oil. They have been linked to enhanced immune system function and healthy brain development. Two omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) improve retinal function and visual effect. Omega-3s may help to improve dry eyes and degradation of the retina. Some studies indicate that people who consume more of two omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), were less likely to have AMD. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with dry eye syndrome and retinopathy, a disease that causes progressive damage to the retina. ResearchTrusted Source has also shown that infants whose formula contains DHA develop better vision than infants not given DHA.
This nutrient can help your body better absorb and use vitamin A. Zinc may enhance night vision and help your body produce protective pigment melanin in the eyes. Too much zinc can upset your stomach and cause issues, so you will need to monitor dosage carefully. Also found naturally in your eyes, zinc is a powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage. Zinc is the primary mineral in the AREDS2 formulation. When taking zinc, copper absorption is lessened. It’s recommended that zinc be combined with copper supplements.
While vitamins and supplements are designed to support your eye health and vision, they should be taken in conjunction with a balanced and nutritious diet. It is important to remember that over the counter supplements and vitamins are not all the same. The FDA may not have evaluated them for efficacy. The best rule of thumb to follow is to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or vitamins. Meanwhile, if your diet isn’t as healthy as it could be, taking at least one eye health formulation, or a good-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement, may be beneficial.