By: Alice Zhong
Eyes are one of the most helpful tools humans have. However, most people don’t properly protect their eyes. While your diet is only one part of the equation, it is still vital for protecting your eyes. Here are eight nutrients that will optimize your eye health.
- Lutein & Zeaxanthin
These two nutrients play a role in the eye as components of macular pigment. They are antioxidants that help filter blue light and reduce macular oxidative damage. However, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are not naturally produced in our bodies, so they must be obtained through our diet and supplements.
- Omega-3 Powerhouse Omega-3s are a family of fatty acids that help protect eye health. These fatty acids help to maintain structural lipids in the retina, which supports the proper function and health of your eyes as you age.
- The Science: DHA & EPA DHA and EPA are essential fatty acids that play an important role in eye health. Be sure the Omega-3s in any supplement you take for eye health contains a high concentration of DHA and EPA.
- Vitamins C & E, and Zinc
Vitamins C and E, and zinc function as important antioxidants in the eye. Vitamins C and E are primary antioxidants in the cellular membranes of the eye, while zinc supports a healthy immune function.
These are some food and fruits that contain some of the nutrients explained above.
Most fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have also found that fish oil can reverse dry eye. Fish that contain the most beneficial levels of omega-3s include tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring.
2. Nuts and legumes
Nuts are also rich in both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Nuts and legumes that are good for eye health include walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, and lentils.
Like nuts and legumes, seeds are high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E. Seeds high in omega-3 include chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds.
4. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits include lemons, oranges, and grapefruits.
5. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a good source of vitamin C. Well-known leafy greens include spinach, kale, and collards.
Carrots are rich in both Vitamin A and beta carotene, which can both help protect your eyes.
7. Sweet potatoes
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene. They are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to better long-term eye health. Meats such as chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc, but at lower levels than beef.
Eggs contain a variety of nutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, and zinc.
It may come as no surprise that a fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which may reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
Many supplements can help you to maintain the proper nutrients for your eyes. To conclude, using one of Paramahansa Yogananda’s most famous quotes, “Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts!”