The diet that we consume acts as fuel for our body including our eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a nutrient-rich and healthy diet can certainly reduce the risk of eye issues, particularly those that appear later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts or conditions that are caused by deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals.
Research reports that a blend of vitamin and mineral supplements has a 25 percent lower risk of worsening AMD and other eye conditions.
7 most important vitamins for eye health
Seven most important vitamins for eye health include:
- Vitamin A (retinol):
- It has antioxidant characteristics that help slow or reverse oxidative damage to the DNA and cells, which plays a critical role in many age-related conditions.
- Several studies report that supplementing the diet with vitamin A may reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), leading to vision loss.
- Extra vitamin A in the form of supplements is not advised because it can damage the liver cells.
- It helps maintain a clear cornea (the covering of the eye) and produces pigments needed to see the full spectrum of light.
- Vitamin A is a component of rhodopsin, a protein in the eyes that allows seeing in low light conditions (low-light vision).
- The deficiency of vitamin A can cause xerophthalmia, a condition that damages the corneas and is a leading cause of preventable blindness.
- Vitamin A can be included in the diet through foods such as:
- Leafy green vegetables such as spinach
- Orange foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupes
- Vitamin C:
- Similar to vitamin A, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of age-related eye disease and dry eye and protects from harmful free radicals.
- Vitamin C is essential to make collagen, a protein that provides structure to the eyes, particularly in the cornea and sclera.
- You can get vitamin C from the following:
- Red and green peppers
- Vitamin E:
- It is a potent antioxidant that can help lower the risk of age-related eye damage, cataracts, and dry eye, especially when taken along with vitamins C, and beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in the body), zinc, and copper.
- It helps protect the eye cells from damage by harmful free radicals (unstable molecules).
- Some vitamin-E-rich options include:
- Enriched cooking oils
- Leafy green vegetables
- Germinated pulses
- Vitamins B6, B9, and B12:
- This combination of vitamins can lower the levels of homocysteine, a protein that is associated with inflammation and an increased risk of AMD.
- It helps prevent AMD and dry eyes.
- Rich sources of vitamins B6, B9, and B12 include:
- Leafy greens
- Sunflower seeds
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin):
- Vitamin B2 is an antioxidant that has the potential to reduce oxidative stress in the body, including the eyes.
- Diets rich in riboflavin have been associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and damage to the lens of the eye.
- You can get the recommended amount (1.1 to 1.3 mg/day) of riboflavin from the following:
- Fortified cereals
- Vitamin B3 (niacin):
- Vitamin B3 acts as an antioxidant and helps convert food into energy.
- Recent studies have reported that niacin may play a role in the prevention of glaucoma and prevents further damage to the optic nerve.
- Consume foods naturally high in niacin such as:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine):
- Vitamin B1 plays a role in reducing the risk of cataracts and acts as a potential treatment for the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.
- Food sources of thiamine include:
- Whole grains
- Fruits such as bananas and oranges
- Fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, bread, and pasta
Recommended daily intake of vitamins chart
|Vitamin||Recommended daily dose|
|Vitamins B6, B9, and B12||
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Zawn Villines 5 Vitamins For Your Eye Health WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/lasik/vitamins-for-your-eye-health
Helen Korneffel Can Supplements Improve Eye Health and Vision? Michigan Health: https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/can-supplements-improve-eye-health-and-vision
Whitney Seltman Supplements for Vision and Healthy Eyes WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/vision-supplements
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