With Summer right around the corner and with that the growing seasons for fruits and vegetables comes as well. This means more salads, fruit cups, and more options available for a better diet. Many doctors will tell you the importance of a good diet that includes fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and less sugars and fatty foods to help with your general health but some people want to know how your diet can affect your eyes. We get asked daily about what vitamins are good for your eyes and what natural ways can help keep your eyes healthy. Here is a list of certain vitamins and minerals and what foods they are found in to help guide your food and vitamin supplement choices.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These two nutrients help reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach while Zeaxanthin is found in pigmented vegetables like corn and peppers. You can also find them in vitamin supplements designed specifically from scientific research regarding macular degeneration.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is also known as Beta-Carotene. Many people have heard that eating carrots helps your vision. It is actually the Vitamin A in carrots as well as sweet potatoes that helps the development of your eyes. It can help with dry eyes as well as possibly helping with some retinal disorders. This vitamin can be found in supplement form individually or in a multivitamin form.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes and peppers. Like Vitamin A, it also helps with the general health of the eyes. This can be found in supplement form or in a multivitamin.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E can be found in many different nuts, fortified grains and sweet potatoes. It is a helpful nutrient that can help protect the eyes from free radicals that can form and damage tissue cells. This can be found in supplement form or in a multivitamin.
Zinc: Zinc is found in many different foods including lean meats such as beef, pork or chicken, oysters, beans and nuts. Zinc helps with the production of melanin, a protective pigment, which is highly concentrated in the retina of the eye. This can be found in supplement form or in a multivitamin.
Omega-3 fatty acids: This specific type of fatty acid is found in certain fish such as salmon, mackerel, cod, sardines and caviar along with nuts and flaxseed. Omega-3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories which can be helpful in the treatment of dry eyes and also is helpful with the development of eyes when you are young. Omega-3’s are helpful with other organs of the body as well and can also be found in supplement form.