You might recall your elders telling you to eat certain foods that are good for your eyes. Eating well is fundamental to good health and well-being. The benefits of good nutrition for your body go way beyond weight. Good nutrition can also help to minimize potential vision issues. A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet can greatly benefit your eye health.
Vitamins for Eye Health
Studies have shown that there are foods and vitamins that boost your eye health. Some may even help to decrease age-related eye conditions. There are also certain vitamins and supplements specifically made to keep your eyes in optimal health. Daily consumption of Vitamins A, C, and E, along with Zinc and Copper in particular proportions or in the form of oxides is said to be ideal for eye health.
How Do Vitamins Support Vision?
Many different vitamins are made in your body naturally, and they can also be taken in foods or as supplements to enhance your overall health and vision. Here are how certain specific vitamins can support eye health and vision, and how they work:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is commonly found in foods like carrots, and is a precursor to beta carotene. It protects the surface of the eye, enhances the immune system, and helps with better night vision.
- B vitamins: The B-complex vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, choline, biotin, and folic acid. They help to decrease vascular problems involving the retina of the eye.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin supports the health of your blood vessels and helps you better absorb iron. The vitamin can also significantly lower your risk of developing cataracts when taken as a regular supplement. Additionally, Vitamin C is involved in almost all levels of cellular function.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin is often absorbed through exposure to sunlight. It enhances bone and skeletal health, organ system function, and eye health. Deficiency of Vitamin D is linked to diabetes, which can impact vision.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin is an antioxidant and helps prevent or delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), that affects the middle part of the vision for people in their 50s and 60s. It can also potentially minimize the risk of cataracts. We advise consuming natural forms of vitamin E supplements over synthetic ones. Natural forms of vitamin E are labelled with a “d-” prefix, whereas synthetic forms will have a “dl-” prefix.
- Zinc: Zinc as a nutrient helps your body to better absorb and use vitamin A. It can aid your body in producing protective pigment melanin in the eyes and may enhance night vision. That being said, it is crucial to carefully monitor its supplement dosage to avoid adverse effects.
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids: Fatty acids like Omega-3s are often found in fish and fish oil. They lead to an enhanced immune system function and healthy brain development. DHA and EPA, two of the omega-3 fatty acids, improve retinal function, help to avoid dry eyes, and aid visual development.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants and carotenoids located in the eyes and help to filter out high-energy blue wavelengths of light that can be harmful to the eyes. These carotenoids, which can be found in green leafy vegetables, help to minimize the risk of developing chronic eye diseases.
For maintaining good eye health naturally, try to regularly include foods like carrots, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables in your diet. Non-vegetarians can consume healthy amounts of egg and meat. Also, stay hydrated! Water, the fluid essential for life is also important for eye health.
You must still remember that dietary supplements and eye vitamins are not designed to replace a healthy diet or lifestyle. Before taking any supplements, discuss them with your eye doctor to ensure that they are right for you. If you want to know more about how you can ensure good eye health and vision, or wish to get your eyes examined by experts — do so at Prasad Netralaya, Mangalore and Udupi’s most trusted Eye Care Hospital with experienced and specialized ophthalmologists. Call us at +91 9513596565 or book an appointment if you wish to visit in person.