Eye Health: The Best Vitamins for Your Eyes

  • BY Zenni Optical

We all know the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But what about the optometrist? And is it really true that carrots give us better eyesight? So many questions! 

Knowing that good eye health is just as important as taking care of the rest of the body, we set out to explore what vitamins are the best for our eyes. Keep the list below handy and stock up on eye-healthy foods next time you hit the market.

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Vitamin A

This essential vitamin is a must-have for eye health. Not only is it important in keeping your eyes lubricated, it’s also used by the retina in the first parts of the vision pathway, especially with night vision. That’s why people with a vitamin A deficiency often experience severe dry eye or trouble seeing at night.

Foods rich in vitamin A: Load up on sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and chard), pumpkins, and bell peppers, or combine them all to create a tasty salad full of vitamin A.

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Vitamin E

An antioxidant found in nuts, fortified cereals, and greens, vitamin E protects eye cells from unstable molecules called free radicals, which break down healthy eye tissue. This is why it is believed to help lower your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts, two of the most common age-related conditions affecting eyesight.

Foods rich in vitamin E: Keep plenty of nuts and seeds around for snacking, or make a meal by adding salmon, avocado, and leafy green vegetables.

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Vitamin C

This powerful antioxidant helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea of the eye. Some studies have found that vitamin C also promotes healthy blood vessels, including the delicate capillaries in the retina. Long-term consumption of vitamin C also may also reduce the risk of forming cataracts and vision loss from macular degeneration.

Foods rich in vitamin C: Skip the concentrated orange juice and instead fill up on broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, red, green or yellow peppers, and tomatoes for your daily dose of vitaminC.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Highly concentrated in the retina, omega-3 fatty acids are very important in maintaining healthy vision and visual development. Some studies have also found that a quality fish oil can keep eyes feeling moist and protect them from inflammation and some of the problems that underlie age-related macular degeneration.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: Swap out meat for fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), chia seeds, walnuts, edamame, and kidney beans to fill up on rich fatty acids.

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A carotenoid found in many fruits and vegetables, this powerful antioxidant has long been associated with healthy vision. Diets rich in lutein help hold off age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. It’s also believed to provide a natural barrier for the eyes from harmful blue light exposure given off by computers and phones (we still recommend that you wear Blokz during any extended screen time).

Foods rich in lutein: Start your day right with an omelet full of spinach, yellow bell peppers, and corn (no egg white omelettes here – yolks are great sources of lutein).

We highly recommend that you talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements or making any changes to your diet to find out what changes are the best for you.