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 and boarded-over.
Vitamins and eye health go hand in hand. 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 than having the necessary vitamins and minerals. Every organ in your body depends on them to function well into the future. The good news is that many of these necessary vitamins and minerals are found in the food you already eat.
After a few simple changes here and there, you could be seeing yourself anew before you know it!
Here are some of the best vitamins and minerals for eye health:
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 slow the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the gradual loss of your central vision. Doing what you can to prevent it is crucial.
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 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. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration1.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is not one simple compound, it’s actually found in eight different forms in the foods we eat. Most vitamin E supplements only include one of these forms, so it’s best to try and include foods rich in this vitamin in your daily menu. Repair poor vision with the power of vitamin E. Vitamin E is rich in antioxidants that help the body heal, and it specifically may help reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Foods that are high in vitamin E include whole-grain cereals, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, olives, and almonds. Get snacking!
Lutein is the powerful antioxidant that gives fruits and veggies a yellow color. It also helps protect your eyes from getting damaged by light. Everyone is born with some lutein in their eyes, but we stop producing it as we age. 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 its 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 (the loss of central vision) and dry eye syndrome. Where can you get omega-3 fatty acids? On your next fishing trip! 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.
If you take the mineral selenium alongside vitamins A and C, reports show that you can help stave off macular degeneration. AMD happens more frequently in people over 60, so selenium is especially important as you age. Look to crab, shrimp, and brown rice for your daily fix! Selenium works in your body to increase the benefits of antioxidants. If you’re taking prescription medicines, it’s always best to check with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
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’s important to make sure it’s 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 aren’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 overall health. The problem many people face when trying to change over to a diet high in all the foods that are best for them is time. Many of us just don’t have the time to prepare meals that are high in the right foods.
If you don’t have the time to change your eating habits, here’s your solution. To ensure you’re getting the best vitamins and minerals for eye health, look no further than what we consider the best eye vitamins on the market.
Take care of the windows to your soul by keeping their structure safe and sound; it’s as simple as eating a carrot!