Vitamins A, C, and E are necessary for optimum eye health. vitamins B and other nutrients are also beneficial to the eyes.
Vitamin deficiencies can raise the risk of certain eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Certain vitamin and mineral supplements, according to research, may help prevent or slow the development of several illnesses.
Vitamin A is important for eyesight because it keeps the cornea, the outside coating of your eye, clear. This vitamin is also found in rhodopsin, a protein in your eyes that allows you to see in low light.
Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in affluent countries, but if left untreated, it can result in a dangerous illness known as xerophthalmia.
Xerophthalmia is a chronic eye disease that causes night blindness. If you do not get enough vitamin A, your tear ducts and eyes will dry out. Your cornea eventually softens, resulting in irreversible blindness. Vitamin A may also protect against other eye diseases. Some research suggests that diets high in vitamin A may be linked to a lower risk of cataracts and AMD.
Vitamin A-rich meals are preferred over supplements for overall eye health. Sweet potatoes, lush green vegetables, pumpkins, and bell peppers are also good sources.
Vitamin A-containing foods
Individuals can supplement their vitamin A intake by eating the following foods:
Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, red pepper, squash.
Several eye disorders are thought to be related to oxidative stress, which is an imbalance in your body’s antioxidants and free radicals.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells, especially your eye cells, from free radical damage. Free radicals are destructive, unstable chemicals. A seven-year study of 3,640 persons with AMD found that taking 400 IU (international unit) of vitamin E and several other nutrients daily in a supplement called age-related eye disease studies (AREDS) lowered the probability of progressing to advanced stages by 25%.
Furthermore, some research suggests that vitamin E-rich diets may help prevent age-related cataracts. Further study is needed, however, because some studies suggest no link between vitamin E and this illness.
Yet, a diet rich in vitamin E is recommended to preserve good eye health. Nuts, seeds, and cooking oils are all high in vitamin E. Salmon, avocado, and leafy green vegetables are also high in vitamin D.
Vitamin E-containing foods
Almonds are a good source of vitamin E. Seeds of sunflower, peanuts, soybean, corn, wheat germ oil, safflower oil, asparagus, etc can bring you vitamin E.
Vitamin C, like vitamin E, is a potent antioxidant that may protect your eyes from harmful free radicals.
The supplement AREDS, which may aid patients with AMD, contains vitamin C and numerous other nutrients. According to one study, taking AREDS on a regular basis may lessen the likelihood of this illness worsening by 25%. Also, vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, a protein that provides structure to the eye, notably in the cornea and sclera.
Many observational studies suggest that vitamin C may help reduce your risk of developing cataracts, a disorder that causes your eyes to fog and affects vision. One observational research, for example, found that consuming more than 490 mg of vitamin C per day reduced the chance of developing cataracts by 75% when compared to 125 mg or less.
Another study discovered that taking vitamin C pills daily may reduce the risk of cataracts by 45%.
Citrus and tropical fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, and kale are particularly high in vitamin C, making them excellent choices for increasing your daily consumption.
Vitamin C-containing foods
Vitamin C is abundant in the following foods:
oranges and their juice, broccoli, brussels sprouts, blackberries, the juice of grapefruit, and grapefruit.
B6, B9, and B12 vitamins
Researchers have also investigated the effects of several B vitamins on eye health, including vitamins B6, B9, and B12. This vitamin combination can help lower homocysteine levels in your body, a protein that has been linked to inflammation and an increased risk of developing AMD.
Clinical research in women found that consuming 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12 together with vitamins B6 and B9 reduced the chance of developing AMD by 34%.
Further research, however, is required to prove the benefits of these supplements. Also, it is uncertain whether increasing your intake of vitamin B-rich foods would have the same effect.
Foods high in B vitamins
The following foods are high in various B vitamins:
- Beans, lentils, pork, salmon, green peas, and yogurt are high in vitamin B1 (thiamine).
- Beef, oats, yogurt, milk, clams, mushrooms, and almonds are high in vitamin B2 (riboflavin).
- Beef liver, chicken, salmon, tuna, brown and white rice, and peanuts are high in vitamin B3 (niacin).
- Chickpeas, dark leafy greens, poultry, beef liver, salmon, and tuna are high in vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).
- Dark leafy greens, peanuts, beans, shellfish, sunflower seeds, and eggs are high in vitamin B9 (folic acid).
- Fish, liver, red meat, poultry, and eggs are high in vitamin B12 (cobalamin).
Individuals who do not consume animal products can simply get adequate vitamin B12 by taking supplements and eating fortified meals.
Riboflavin is a B vitamin
Riboflavin is another B vitamin that has been researched in relation to eye health (vitamin B2). Riboflavin, as an antioxidant, has the potential to lower oxidative stress in your body, including your eyes. Scientists are particularly interested in riboflavin’s ability to prevent cataracts, as riboflavin shortage can lead to this ailment. Surprisingly, many people who have cataracts are also low in this antioxidant.
One study discovered a 31-51% reduction in the likelihood of developing cataracts when participants’ diets included 1.6-2.2 mg of riboflavin per day, compared to.08 mg per day.
Riboflavin is recommended to be consumed at a daily dose of 1.1-1.3 milligrams. Because many foods contain riboflavin, it is usually simple to meet this need. Oatmeal, milk, yogurt, meat, and fortified cereals are a few examples.
Additional eye-health nutrients:
According to research, the following nutrients are also advantageous to the eyes.
Zeaxanthin and lutein
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in abundance in green leafy vegetables. They are also found in the eye’s lens and retina.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, as antioxidants, may help prevent oxidative damage in the retina. According to research published in 2017Trusted Source, consuming roughly 6 milligrams (mg) of lutein and zeaxanthin per day may reduce a person’s chance of developing AMD. A daily dose of 0.5-1 mg may also reduce the risk of glaucoma.
Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in the following foods:
- egg whites
Zinc is a mineral that aids in the health of the eye’s retina, cell membranes, and protein structure.
Zinc causes vitamin A to move from the liver to the retina, where it is converted into melanin. Melanin is a pigment that shields the eyes from ultraviolet light. Those who have AMD or are at risk of acquiring the disorder may benefit from zinc supplementation. Taking 40-80 mg of zinc per day, together with specific antioxidants, could reduce the course of severe AMD by 25%, according to the American Optometric Association. It may also help to reduce visual acuity decline by 19%.
Zinc sources include:
- oysters, crab, and lobster are examples of seafood.
- Turkey beans, chickpeas, nuts, and pumpkin seeds
- complete grains
- cereals enriched with milk
Omega-3 essential fatty acids
The eye’s retina has a high quantity of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids aids in the protection of the retina against injury and degeneration. Omega-3 supplementation has been shown in small animal experiments to decrease age-related retina degeneration. However, additional human studies are required to adequately assess the link.
For the treatment of dry eye syndrome, several experts recommend Trusted Source omega-3 fatty acids. Those who suffer from dry eye syndrome do not generate enough tears to keep their eyes moist. A major randomized control research, on the other hand, demonstrated no significant improvement in dry eye symptoms when compared to a placebo.
Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods include:
Flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, oily seafood such as sardines, tuna, and herring.
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