5 Best Nutrients for Eye Health

5 Best Nutrients for Eye Health

Vitamins are a great way to provide your body and health with additional nutrients that you may not be getting enough of from the foods you eat. In addition to keeping your body healthy and strong, nutrients help to support eye health and improve your eyesight.

Good vision is certainly not something you should take for granted. Because with age comes natural vision deterioration. And any degree of vision loss is no fun and can make everyday life challenging.

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What is Presbyopia?

Medically known as presbyopia, age-related vision loss that makes it difficult to see objects close up usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40s and worsens until around age 65. It’s important to note that presbyopia is not a disease. It’s a condition that will most likely impact all of us at some point as we get older.

Common symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • Headaches from working with objects up close
  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurred vision at close distances
  • Inability to read up close
  • The need to hold objects further away to bring them into focus

Fortunately, there are measures you can take, such as eating a well-balanced diet rich in eye-healthy vitamins, that will help to keep your eyes healthy and slow down the development of presbyopia and other age-related eye conditions.

Eye-Healthy Nutrients

Here’s a list of some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health, according to the American Optometric Association.

Vitamin A

Most of us were told as children that we needed to eat our carrots to protect our vision. Well, there was some truth behind the old adage. Vitamin A, which is found in carrots, helps to protect the cornea and retina of the eye. The powerhouse antioxidant is also vital for maintaining night vision. In addition to carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and mangoes are good sources of vitamin A.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

With so much technology being used today, our eyes are often strained due to blue light exposure from our phones, computers, and tablets. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids necessary for retinal function and help protect the eyes from oxidative stress. You can find these essential eye nutrients in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of severe loss of eyesight in people 60 and older. It affects your macula, which is responsible for your central vision. Zinc is an antioxidant that fights off free radicals found within the macula. It can help to slow down the progression of AMD and other damage to the macula. Red meat and shellfish are excellent sources of zinc.

Vitamin C

Another important vitamin that helps to fight free radicals is vitamin C. This antioxidant protects your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light damage and is responsible for forming collagen, a protein that provides the structure of our eyes. In addition, vitamin C promotes healthy blood vessels by controlling the amount of oxygen within the eyes. You can get a vitamin C boost from more than just oranges. Vegetables, including red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, are also excellent sources high in vitamin C.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is one of the top superfoods for eye health. Studies have shown that a diet high in omega-3 slows down the degeneration of the eyes, especially during the development stage. Omega-3s improve tear function and reduce inflammation, thus lowering your risk for several eye diseases. Add salmon, tuna, or mackerel to your diet to ensure retinal health.

Healthy Eyes Start with Prevention

Your vision is definitely not something you want to neglect. Even if you’ve had glasses or contacts for years to help you see better, you still need to take preventative measures to keep your actual eyes healthy.

Make sure you’re following a diet rich in nutrients for eye health, and don’t forget to schedule your annual eye exam. Routine eye exams help to catch eye injuries and diseases in their early stages when they can be treated and possibly reversed. Make your eye health a priority to stave off vision loss and complications.

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