Healthy Eating for Your Eyes

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 20-Jun-2014

HEFYEsmallThere are several factors that can contribute to poor eye health, and one of those is your nutrition. Eating a healthy diet is a key component when it comes to preventing many eye conditions such as macular degeneration, dry eyes and night vision problems.

Is your diet good for your eyes?

Top five nutrients for your eyes

There are several nutrients that are essential for good eye health. The “must-haves” for healthy eyes are:

Vitamin A: A diet rich in vitamin A can help prevent night vision problems, dry eyes, cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin A is found in colorful fruits and veggies. It is also found in beef, chicken liver, cod liver oil, milk and eggs. Too much vitamin A can be harmful to your health, so be sure you do not eat more than 2,800 micrograms of vitamin A each day.

Carotenoids: The yellow, orange and red pigments known as carotenoids are found in many fruits and vegetables and are important for your overall health. When it comes to your eyes, carotenoids can help protect the retina from damage by the sun’s rays and help prevent macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxathin are two carotenoids that are particularly good for your eyes. Carotenoids are also found in dark, leafy green vegetables including romaine, kale and spinach. Broccoli, squash and bell peppers are also excellent sources of carotenoids. The recommended daily amount of carotenoids for adults is six to 10 mg.

Vitamin C: Like each of these nutrients, vitamin C is also important for your overall health as it protects the heart, strengthens the immune system and can prevent some cancers. It is an antioxidant that helps reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C is found in oranges, red and green bell peppers, grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli and kale. Adults should get at least 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day.

Vitamin E: Another antioxidant that can also help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin E is found in almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, spinach, avocados, olive oil and whole grains.

Zinc: An important antioxidant that helps the body absorb vitamin A and helps reduce the number of free radicals in the body. It has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and night blindness. Food sources of zinc include oysters and other seafood, beef, eggs, wheat germ, black-eyed peas and tofu. Zinc should be consumed in moderation, as high doses can result in adverse side effects. Do not consume more than 100 mg daily without consulting with your doctor.

If you have questions about nutrition and eye health, contact your eye doctor. Working with a registered dietician can also help ensure you are eating the right foods to promote a healthy body and healthy eyes.

Categories: Eye Health
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