How does diet affect your vision? It’s not exactly a newsflash that what you put in your body can affect your overall health. Did you know that your diet can also affect your vision? Researchers have found a direct connection between eye health and nutrition. In fact, some studies suggest that a diet high in fat and processed foods may increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration. That’s not all. Other studies claim high sodium diets may increase your risk of cataracts and still another found that drinking too much diet soda substantially increased your risk of diabetic retinopathy. To help keep your eyes healthy and vision strong, here are some need-to-know nutrition facts related to overall eye health.
Key Vitamins and Nutrients for Eye Health
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends incorporating the following vitamins and nutrients for optimal eye health.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Specifically EPA and DHA, essential fatty acids aid in vision development and help maintain proper retinal function.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can slow age-related macular degeneration and reduce the risk of cataracts.
- Lutein – Functions as a light filter, protecting the eyes from sunlight damage.
- Zeaxanthin – Similar to lutein, this vitamin helps build a yellow-colored pigment shield to protect the eye cells from the effects of different light sources such as the sun.
- Zinc – Transports Vitamin A from the liver to the retina, where it helps produce melanin, the pigment needed to protect the eyes.
- Vitamin E – Another antioxidant that protects the eyes from free radical damage.
Foods Rich in Eye Nutrients
Knowing which foods are eye-friendly is just as important as knowing what not to eat.
- Broccoli – Filled with vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, broccoli is a great source of nutrition to keep your eyes healthy.
- Citrus fruit – Lemons, oranges, and grapefruit are all excellent sources of eye-loving vitamin C.
- Eggs – A triple threat of good things for your eyes, eggs are rich with omega-3s, vitamin E and lutein.
- Leafy greens – Just like broccoli, food like spinach, kale and collards contain vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
- Fish – Specifically fish that are rich with omega-3s like salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
- Beef – Beef is higher in zinc that other cuts of meat.
- Nuts and seeds – Provide plenty of vitamin E and omega-3s.
Just like every other system in your body, your vision system relies on essential nutrients and vitamins to function properly. You should also be getting frequent eye exams to ensure any issues with your vision and eye health are detected and treated early. Don’t take chances with the very things you see the world with. Book your eye exam today at Tyson Eye, where our team of caring professionals are committed to making your eye health a priority.