Email the author. Omega-3 fats, found in walnuts, certain fish and flax, also may be important for eye health. Your risk of developing an eye disease increases as you get older. October 2020 Issue. Observational studies show that people with cataracts tend to have a low antioxidant status. However, you can also get vitamin A from antioxidant plant compounds called provitamin A carotenoids, found in high amounts in some fruits and vegetables. Nutrition for Eye Health. Eating right is essential for keeping your body healthy. While traditionally thought to have limited or no role in glaucoma prevention and treatment, dietary interventions for the disease are garnering interest and propelling new research. Just keep sodium content in mind. Vitamin C is critical to eye health. Most people are short on these two nutrients, but it's an easy fix. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid found in small amounts in the modern diet. They may also fight the most-likely cause of vision loss when you're older: age-related macular degeneration (AMD). #diet #nutrition 661-215-1006 Monday - Friday 8:30 - 5:30 1721 Westwind Drive, Suite B, Bakersfield, CA 93301 Eye health is not something the media is throwing at us daily, nor is it something devastating to our well-being unless it affects our sight. Conclusion. There are so many joys of new parenthood — but thinning hair and hair loss aren't on that list. As we age, we become more vulnerable to eye diseases. Vitamin C is a top antioxidant. These nutrients help maintain eye function, protect your eyes against harmful light, and reduce the development of age-related degenerative diseases. Zinc is a part of many essential enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, which functions as an antioxidant. Getting adequate amounts of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from oily fish or supplements may reduce your risk of several eye diseases — especially dry eyes. Thus, DHA deficiency can impair vision, especially in children (13, 14, 15, 16). For this reason, zinc deficiency may lead to night blindness (37). Vegetables are the best source of Vitamin A. Your risk of developing these diseases depends on your age, genetics, chronic diseases, and lifestyle. They are called AREDS formula supplements, after the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies that tested and fine-tuned the formula. A healthy diet is important for overall health. Bein… A balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish provides essential nutrients that support good eye function. Among many other health awareness topics in June, one this month is Cataract Awareness Month. Food sources: Sweet peppers (red or green), kale, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, cantaloupe. All rights reserved. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. It converts into vitamin A, which helps prevent night blindness. But other foods and their nutrients may be more important for keeping your eyesight keen as you age. A study in middle-aged and older adults with diabetes found that taking at least 500 mg of long-chain omega-3s daily may reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy (21). Drink at least eight cups of water a day. Spinach, swiss chard, kale, parsley, pistachios, and green peas are among the best sources (8). Also, be sure to load up your plate with other vitamin C-rich foods including bell peppers, broccoli, citrus … In one study, older adults with early macular degeneration were given zinc supplements. Additionally, omega-3 supplements derived from fish or microalgae are widely available. Vitamins C and E work together to keep healthy tissue strong. 22, No. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that are popular for their eye health benefits. Here are 8 nutrients that benefit your eyes. Over half of those surveyed were unaware of the key nutrients that play a role in eye health. A high intake of lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce your risk of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. This article tells you all you need to know about…. A balanced diet is essential for staying healthy. This article from Christa explains why eye health is so important and lays out a plan for nutrition for eye health. But how many of us think about or pay attention to the health of our eyes? Papaya, oranges, and green peppers are other good sources. A diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and is low in saturated fat, can reduce your risk of heart disease. Potassium is a mineral that's involved in muscle contractions, heart function and water balance. Quick nutrition tips to optimize eye health: Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Here are 10 of the best…. They also indicate that people who take vitamin C supplements are less likely to get cataracts (28, 29). One analysis suggests that consuming more than 7 mg of vitamin E daily may reduce your risk of age-related cataracts by 6% (33). Natural dietary sources of zinc include oysters, meat, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts (39). Many people do not follow the right nutrition for eye health and as a result suffer from its consequences, leading to vision related problems with … Collard greens, broccoli, and bright-colored fruits like kiwis and grapes are ways to get them, too. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. Carrots may be the food best known for helping your eyes, but eating your way to good eyesight isn’t only about beta-carotene. How does the eye function? What’s more, egg yolks, sweet corn, and red grapes may also be high in lutein and zeaxanthin (9). "Eating a cooked 10-ounce block of frozen spinach over the course of a week will help lower your risk of age-related eye disease," Johnson says. Rasmussen, H. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2013. Vitamin C may help protect against cataracts and slow the progression of … Some evidence suggests that taking evening primrose oil may reduce the symptoms of dry eye disease. Their macular deterioration slowed, and they maintained their visual sharpness better than those who received a placebo (38). Sweetened Drinks. Nutrition for Eye Health. For those who aren’t deficient, supplements probably won’t provide an added benefit. No doubt you’ve heard that carrots can help improve your vision, but what other foods have benefits for the eyes? Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common causes of blindness in the world (1). These include kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Like egg yolks, carrots have vitamin A and also beta carotene. Other vitamins may also play a role in eye health. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are important for eye health. These foods are among the top sources of vitamin C. Eat half a grapefruit and a handful of Brussels sprouts or strawberries (one-half cup) a day and you're good to go. Healthy lifestyle habits, such as a wholesome diet and regular exercise, may help prevent many chronic diseases — including eye conditions. Nutrition for Eye Health. Lutein and zeaxanthin usually occur together in foods. A small sweet potato, a carrot, or a bowl of pumpkin soup sets you up for the day. The researchers also discovered that those with the highest intake of lutein and zeaxanthin had a 43% lower risk of macular degeneration, compared to those with the lowest intake (6). Experts say it's hard to get the same high levels of nutrients in the AREDS 2 supplement from food alone. Zinc can also be found in other meats, eggs, peanuts, and whole grains. Maximizing nutrition for eye health means getting these micronutrients into your diet, so whole foods are still the ideal option for you. Your eyes require high amounts of antioxidants — more so than many other organs. If you have or are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) there are vitamin supplements that may help slow it or keep it from getting worse. A diet that keeps your whole body healthy will likely keep your eyes healthy, too. However, the evidence is not entirely consistent. Published 8:40 am Saturday, June 27, 2020. Vitamin C. Eye benefits of vitamin C: May reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Eye health can be supported through a healthy diet rich with nutrients from fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, sardines, and herring have the most omega-3s, but flounder, halibut, and tuna are also good sources. It also appears to be involved in the formation of visual pigments in your retina. Eating Healthy for your Eyes. The objective of this Special Issue on ‘Nutrition and Eye Health’ is to publish papers describing the role of nutrition in maintaining eye health and the use of nutritional interventions to prevent or treat ocular disease. Eye health goes hand-in-hand with general health, but a few nutrients are especially important for your eyes. Have a small handful of sunflower seeds, or use a tablespoon of wheat germ oil in your salad dressing for a big boost. But it’s vital that we take care of our sight organs, for if they suffer, our sense of sight suffers. ; clinical spokesperson, American Academy of Ophthalmology. The newest version, called AREDS 2, is especially good if you get very little lutein and zeaxanthin. Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy body weight is important for general health. Evidence also shows that taking omega-3 supplements may benefit those with dry eye disease (17, 18, 19, 20). In contrast, randomized controlled studies indicate that vitamin E supplements do not slow or prevent the progression of cataracts (34). WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Vitamin A is only found in animal-derived foods. Healthy lifestyle habits, such as a wholesome diet and regular exercise, may help prevent many chronic diseases — including eye conditions. Certain nutrients with antioxidant properties are beneficial, including carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E. Zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are also important for eye health. But most of us don't get as much vitamin E as we should from food. Learn what nutrients you need. "They get into the lens and retina of your eye, and they are believed to absorb damaging visible light," Johnson says. The omega-3 fatty acids that keep your heart and brain healthy may also protect your eyes by fighting inflammation and helping cells work better. GWYN THOMPSON. Getting enough of … Lutein and zeaxanthin function as a natural sunblock. Provitamin A carotenoids provide around 30% of people’s vitamin A requirements, on average. There are many ways to ramp up your intake of antioxidants, and adding some antioxidant drinks to your diet is one of them. How does nutrition affect eye health? Follow these nutrition tips for healthy eye maintenance. Eye diseases such as Cataracts and Macular Degeneration can be prevented and even homeopathically treated with the help of better nutrition. The eyes are perhaps one of the most taken-for-granted organs in the human body. The richest sources of GLA are evening primrose oil and starflower oil. Lutein and zeaxanthin. Your eye health is an integral aspect of your overall health, so you need to take care of it. Carrots are well-known to be good for eye health. Nutrition for Eye Health. Monica L. Monica, MD, PhD, a clinical spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, says to avoid a do-it-yourself approach like taking extra vitamin C or E. "Look for the AREDS formula," she says. Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments. Nutrition for eye health. Further studies agree that omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin are vital for eye health. Vision is created by the collective function of different parts of the eye. Winter squash, kale, and red pepper are other top sources. "Foods may contain many other nutrients we aren't aware of that may help, too.". This is as true for your eyes as it is for your heart. Also learn how lifestyle changes, like drinking more water, can…. Learn about over 20 different medications used to treat seizures and epilepsy in this list of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Unlike many other omega-6 fatty acids, GLA appears to have anti-inflammatory properties (23, 24). Below, we discuss healthy eating and vitamins in relation to overall eye health. Don't forget deep orange and yellow vegetables and fruits for beta carotene. Eye Health: Nutrition and Glaucoma Risk By KC Wright, MS, RDN Today’s Dietitian Vol. Nutrition is an important part of eye health. By consuming nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin, you can maintain the wellness of your eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help prevent other eye diseases. Almonds, pecans, and vegetable oils are also good sources. Carrots may be the food best known for helping your eyes. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Getting enough of the nutrients listed above may help reduce your risk. Right nutrition for eye health minimizes the risk of eye ailments in addition to leading a better quality of life. Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don't know the best way to look after our eyes. Carrots may be the food best known for helping your eyes. Although severe vitamin E deficiency may lead to retinal degeneration and blindness, it’s unclear whether supplements provide any additional benefits if you’re already getting enough from your diet (31, 32). Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. American Heart Association: "Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble antioxidants that protect fatty acids from harmful oxidation. But other foods and their nutrients may be more important for keeping your eyesight keen as … A diet that is based on starchy foods like rice, potatoes and pasta, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, foods rich in protein such as meat, fish and pulses (for example lentils), some milk and diary and not too much fat, salt or sugar, will give you all the nutrients you need.Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight means eating the right foods in the right amounts and exercising regularly. Aim for at least two servings of cold-water fish a week. They’re thought to play a central role in protecting your eyes against harmful blue light (4). A diet rich in essential nutrients can boost your eyes’ health and help reduce the risk of certain eye conditions as you age. However, don’t neglect the rest of your body. The levels of vitamin C in the aqueous humor are directly proportional to its dietary intake. DHA is found in high amounts in your retina, where it may help maintain eye function. In contrast, omega-3 fatty acids are not an effective treatment for AMD (22). In very high doses, beta carotene can raise your chances of getting lung cancer. Since your retina has a high concentration of fatty acids, adequate vitamin E intake is important for optimal eye health (16). Macular degeneration is an eye condition that typically affects older adults. The most common eye diseases include: Although your risk of getting these conditions depends to some extent on your genes, your diet may also play a major role. One randomized controlled study gave women with dry eyes a daily dose of evening primrose oil with 300 mg of GLA. As with the sauces above, drinks high in both natural sugar and artificial sweeteners (like juices and soda) have a negative impact on eye health. nutrition for healthy eyes Adding eye-friendly nutrients to your diet every day can help save your vision. National Eye Health Week aims to change all that. Here are some dermatologist recommended products to…, If you're looking for the best baby toys that are developmentally appropriate, adorable, and - most importantly - well loved, you're in the right…. Vitamin E deficiency may lead to visual degeneration and blindness. Find out how to stop smoking naturally with Eastern approaches, such as acupuncture. High amounts of vitamin C are found in many fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, citrus fruits, guavas, kale, and broccoli (30). While vitamin C appears to play a protective role in your eyes, it’s unclear whether supplements provide added benefits for those who aren’t deficient. Only 3% of Americans get enough of the essential mineral potassium. Vision really matters. Eye Health Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Rob Plant-based diets may help prevent each of the four common causes of vision loss – namely cataracts , glaucoma (see also here and here ), age-related macular degeneration (see also here ) and diabetes (see also here , here , and here ). The most common eye conditions include cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. 14 Healthy Foods That Are High in Potassium, How to Quit Smoking Naturally — from an Eastern Perspective, 10 Best Antioxidant Drinks, Plus How They Benefit Your Health, The Best Nipple Creams for Breastfeeding Mamas, Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, 8 Derm-Approved Hair Products for Postpartum Locks, Shopping Guide: The Best Baby Toys for 2021. The concentration of vitamin C is higher in the aqueous humor of the eye than in any other body fluid. GLA, which is found in high amounts in evening primrose oil, may reduce symptoms of dry eye disease. "We know this specific combination works.". Fresh, juicy strawberries are a good thing for your eyes, and contain plenty of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that may help lower your risk of cataracts. As we age, it becomes obvious that our sight is vital to our quality of life. The best dietary source of EPA and DHA is oily fish. The antioxidant vitamin C appears to be especially important, although controlled studies on its role in eye health are lacking. Vitamin C is necessary for your eye health, and getting enough of this antioxidant may protect against cataracts. One study suggests that supplements may slow the early development of macular degeneration in older adults. This article explains how much potassium you need per…. They are concentrated in the macula, the central part of your retina, which is a layer of light-sensitive cells on the back wall of your eyeball. It's also safe if you're a smoker or recently quit, because it doesn’t have beta carotene in it. Nutrition: Protecting your eyes from the inside. This is why boosting your diet with lutein and zexanthin is a … Do eye supplements really work? Eating right is essential for keeping your body healthy. In other words, you can increase its concentration by taking supplements or eating foods rich in vitamin C (26, 27). A turkey sandwich is a great source, too. Carotenoids are phytonutrients that make fruits and vegetables appear red, yellow, and orange. Here are some powerhouse foods for healthy eyes to try. The study noted that their symptoms improved over a 6-month period (25). Antioxidants protect against eye damage from things like sunlight, cigarette smoke, and air pollution. Granted, you should always practice safety by getting regular eye exams especially if you wear contact lenses.However, protecting your eyes … The richest dietary sources include liver, egg yolks, and dairy products. One meta-analysis of six observational studies suggests that lutein and zeaxanthin only protect against late-stage AMD — not its early development stages (7). Your eyesight is probably the most important of your five senses. One observational study in middle-aged and older adults noted that consuming 6 mg of lutein and/or zeaxanthin per day significantly reduced the risk of AMD. "It's always best to get the nutrients we know help vision from foods," says Elizabeth J. Johnson, PhD. All rights reserved. This Special Issue collects reviews or original papers representing the state of the art on nutrition and eye health in terms of clinically relevant animal models through which to understand the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of diet supplementation.
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