You may have heard the tale about Great Britain giving their pilots excessive amounts of carrots to eat to give them better night vision during World War Two. This was technically a coverup story for a new type of radar used for nighttime bombing raids, there is some validity to how your diet can influence the health of your eyes.
When your eyes don’t get the key vitamins and nutrients that they need to function properly, they can become more prone to dysfunction and vision problems. Fortunately, the nutrients your eyes need can easily be found in foods and various supplements.
Key Vitamins And Nutrients For Good Eye Health
Vitamin A plays an important role in the health and overall clarity of the cornea, which is the outer covering of your eye. It also plays a role in helping you focus your vision. Vitamin A is also used by the human body in a special protein called rhodopsin, which helps with night vision.
It’s also worth noting that long-term deficits in Vitamin A have been linked to eye health conditions like xerophthalmia. While rare, it is mostly found in developing countries where malnutrition is a serious concern. As time progresses it can lead to night blindness and chronic dry eye. Some severe, prolonged cases of xerophthalmia have even caused blindness.
What Foods Are A Good Source Of Vitamin A?
While Vitamin A is often included in most daily multivitamins, foods like sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables, pumpkins, and bell peppers are also good sources of Vitamin A.
Vitamin E Is known to be a powerful antioxidant, which helps prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Its also been found to help prevent age-related cataracts. Some research suggests it helps the body with stress management, which might also impact eye health.
What Foods Are A Good Source Of Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is found in most daily multivitamins. Some foods that are known to be rich in Vitamin E include seeds, nuts, leafy greens, avocado, and fish like salmon.
Vitamin C is also a very potent antioxidant that helps protect eyes and many other cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals. It has also been found to play an important role in collagen production, which is a protein that contributes to the overall structure of the eyes in the cornea and sclera. New research also points to Vitamin C’s ability to help reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
What Foods Are A Good Source Of Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is found in daily multivitamins as well as being a standalone supplement. It’s also included in many immune-boosting products. Though you can usually find it in high amounts in tropical fruits, citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, and kale.
The Combination of Vitamin B6, B9 and B12
The 8 B-family vitamins play a crucial role in many important biological processes that contribute to your overall health. In particular B6 (Biotin) B9 (Folate) and B12 (Cobalamin) contribute to good eye health when consumed together.
These three B Vitamins have been found to help lower levels of homocysteine. This is a protein in your body that is often related to inflammation, which an increased risk of developing AMD.
What Foods Are A Good Source Of Vitamins B6, B9, and B12?
Vitamin B6 is typically found in high amounts in pork, poultry, fish, oatmeal, wheat germ, and brown rice as well as eggs. Foods that are a good source of Vitamin B9 include dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and whole grains. Foods that are rich in Vitamin B12 include fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and most dairy products
Also known as Vitamin B2, riboflavin is known to be a potent antioxidant, as well as a stress reliever, which can affect overall eye health. A growing body of research also points to riboflavin’s ability to help prevent cataracts.
What Foods Are A Good Source Of Riboflavin?
Riboflavin is relatively easy to add to your diet. It’s typically found in oats, milk, and yogurt, as well as beef.
Here again, we see another member of the B-family vitamins, Vitamin B3 contributes to eye health and the prevention of certain eye conditions. It is a strong antioxidant, and also helps prevent the retinal nerve damage associated with glaucoma. Niacin also plays a key role in helping the human body to convert food into energy.
What Foods Are A Good Source Of Niacin?
While there are some niacin supplements on the market, it’s usually easy to meet your daily recommended allowance by eating meats and legumes like beef, poultry, fish, mushrooms, peanuts, and legumes.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein
Zeaxanthin and Lutein are known as carotenoids. This is a type of nutrient compound made by some plants. They help you maintain good retina and macula health in the eyes. These structures also help filter out potentially harmful blue light, which can harm the eyes with excess exposure. Some research suggests carotenoids can help prevent cataracts.
What Foods Are A Good Source For Zeaxanthin and Lutein?
Many fruits and vegetables have small amounts of Zeaxanthin and Lutein. Things like cooked spinach, kale, and collard greens tend to be very high in carotenoids.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many foods. They are a special type of polyunsaturated fat, which is found in the membranes of the retina. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which can help prevent diabetic retinopathy. They can also help reduce symptoms of chronic dry eye.
What Foods Are A Good Source For Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Fish like salmon are known to have strong amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. You can also find it in, flaxseed, chia seeds, soy, and nuts. Some cooking oils like canola and olive oil also have small amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Also known as Vitamin B1, it also helps cells convert food into energy. A growing body of research points to Thiamine helping to reduce the chances of developing cataracts.
What Foods Are A Good Source Of Thiamine?
Whole grains, pasta, red meat, and fish tend to be good sources of Thiamine. Also, many B-Vitamin supplements include Thiamine in the formulation.