There are several nutrients that can strengthen vision and improve eye health. Before running out to the pharmacy, it should be noted that for some people high-dose supplements can actually be harmful. These vitamins and nutrients are most beneficial when consumed as part of a healthy diet. To promote eye health, here’s what to look for:
Lutein & Zeaxanthin
- Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that are found naturally in the retina. Eating foods containing these nutrients can protect against aging changes in the eye, like cataracts and macular degeneration. The foods that contain the most lutein and zeaxanthin are dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, swiss chard, collards and kale.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- These long chain fatty acids can decrease dry eye symptoms by reducing inflammation and improving tear production. Salmon, chia and flax seeds are great sources for these essential fatty acids.
- Vitamin E can prevent some aging changes in the eye by protecting healthy tissue from damaging free radicals. High amounts of vitamin E can be found in almonds and sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin C may protect against developing cataracts. Some of the best foods for vitamin C intake are oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and kiwifruit.
Eating a varied diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and healthy fats can promote the health of your body, including your eyes. Next time you are at the grocery store keep a look out for some of these eye-friendly foods.
By: Dr. Annah Fox, OD