Diet and Nutrients For Your Eyes
Several vitamins and nutrients are essential to maintain healthy eyes. Among them are Lutein, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, DHA/EPA, and Zinc.
Lutein with Zeaxanthin has several benefits to eye health. Both nutrients act as antioxidants to help and maintain healthy eyes. These nutrients function like an internal pair of sunglasses for the eyes and filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light that can damage cells. These nutrients can be found in several foods such spinach, collards, kale, corn, eggs, turnip greens, spinach, green peas, broccoli, green beans, eggs, and even oranges. You can also find these nutrients in vitamin supplements as well.
Vitamin C helps promote healthy capillaries, cartilage, and iron absorption. It also supports that health of ocular blood vessels. Studies show Vitamin C can lower the risk of developing cataracts. In combination with other nutrients it can help slow the progression of AMD by 25% and visual acuity by 19%! Vitamin C can be found in orange juice, grapefruit juice, oranges, spinach, tomatoes, bananas, apples, and peaches. Vitamin C is also found in nutrition supplements.
DHA/EPA (essential fatty acids) help support the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. Intake of this nutrient has been shown to be important for visual development and retinal function. Low levels of these nutrients have been linked to dry eye syndrome, diabetic retinopathy, and AMD. In order to get these nutrients into your system you can find them in food such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovy, trout, halibut, scallops, and snapper. The nutrients can also be found in nutritional supplements.
Zinc is recommended for individuals diagnosted high-risk for AMD. Its vital to bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Those lacking in the proper amount of Zinc have been linked to impaired vision, poor night vision, and cloudy cataracts. Zinc can be found in oysters, beef, lobster, pork, bran flakes, yogurt, salmon, milk, and eggs. It can also be found in nutritional supplements.
Other ways to reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases like AMD and cataracts:
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
- Wear sunglasses and a hat when in sunlight
- Limit alcohol intake
- Do not smoke
- Watch your weight
- Get yearly eye exams!
Source: American Optometric Association
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