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Don’t Overlook Vitamins & Minerals for Eye Health

If your eyes are the windows to your soul, then think of vitamins and minerals as the frame that holds the glass panes in place for you. Without the proper support system that vitamins and minerals supply your eyes become empty boarded over opening.

Vitamins and eye health go hand in hand, so if you feel your vision leaves something to be desired, consider changing your diet or adding vision supplements to your regime. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that there is nothing more important for your eyes and body than having the necessary vitamins and minerals. The good news is that many of these necessary vitamins and minerals are found in the food you already eat.

A few simple changes here and there and you could be seeing yourself anew before you know it! In this post, we’ll discuss some of the best vitamins and minerals for your eyes.

1. Vitamin A

Yes, you knew this article was going to tell you to eat your carrots! Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A, or beta-carotene, which helps protect the surface of your eyes. Other foods that are rich in vitamin A are liver, milk, pumpkins, eggs, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Vitamin A can help to prevent cataracts and dry eye syndrome. Research has shown that vitamin A can also prevent or slow the development of age-related macular degeneration.

2. Vitamin C

Because vitamin C helps the body maintain connective tissue, it helps the collagen in your cornea as well as the small blood vessels in your retina. So, drink your orange juice, eat your spinach and don’t forget your broccoli: all of these foods are rich in vitamin C! Our bodies don’t store vitamin C so it is especially important that we include this vitamin in our daily diets. Adults should be taking at least 500 mg daily for the best results. This vitamin has been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

3. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is not one simple compound, it is actually found in 8 different forms in the foods we eat. Most vitamin E supplements only include one of these forms so it is best to try and include foods rich in this vitamin in your daily menu. Erase bad vision with the power of vitamin E. Vitamin E is rich in antioxidants which help the body heal, and it specifically may help reduce your risk of developing cataracts later on. Foods that are high in vitamin E include whole grain cereals, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, olives, and almonds. Get snacking!

4. Lutein

Lutein, the powerful antioxidant which gives fruits and veggies a yellow color, helps protect your eyes from damaging light. Everyone is born with some lutein in our eyes, but we stop producing it. Give your eyes a kick start by taking in some extra lutein: try some kale, spinach, zucchini, squash, corn, yellow peppers, and collard greens for a boost in your diet. Lutein has been referred to as, “the eye vitamin” because of it’s ability to prevent or slow some eye conditions.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Your eyes need fat to thrive. The healthy kind of fat, that is. Adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce macular degeneration, which is basically the loss of central vision, and dry eye syndrome. Go fishing: salmon, tuna and sardines are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other great sources include flax seeds, leafy greens and walnuts. Omega-3’s play an important role in our eye health. They protect our eyes from damaging light, ischemia, oxygen free radicals, and inflammation.

6. Selenium

If you take the mineral selenium alongside vitamins A and C, reports show that you can help stave off macular degeneration, which also happens more frequently in people over 60. Look to crab, shrimp and brown rice for your daily selenium fix! Selenium works in our body to increase the benefits of antioxidants. If you are taking prescription medicines it is always best to check with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet.

7. Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that many doctors recommend for optimal eye health. When taken with vitamins E and C, zinc has been shown to slow the process of age-related macular degeneration and even reduce visual acuity loss. Our bodies cannot produce zinc so it is important to make sure it is included in your diet. To get your daily dose of zinc, try oysters, yogurt, beef, eggs, baked beans, mixed nuts, or even lobster. Yum! Our bodies need very small amounts of this mineral but it is one mineral that is essential for good eye health.

It’s essential to your eye health that you make sure your diet is rich in vitamins and minerals. Take the time to adjust your diet and your eyes will thank you for years to come.

We all know that fast food, processed food, and deep fried food isn’t really good for us. A well balanced diet containing as many vegetables and fruits as possible is better for your eyes as well as your over-all health. Take care of the windows to your soul by keeping their structure safe and sound; it’s as simple as eating a carrot!

This post originally appeared on Rebuild Your Vision.

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