Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility The Link Between Nutrition and Eye Health: Foods for Better Vision
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Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune
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Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Optometry & Visual Sciences
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The Link Between Nutrition and Eye Health: Foods for Better Vision

The Link Between Nutrition and Eye Health: Foods for Better Vision

Optimize your vision with a nutrient-rich diet. Discover the power of vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3s, and zinc for healthier eyes.

Mohit Baranwal (T.Y.B. Optom)
June, 23 2023
1126

Diet is the key to life. It is said that "we become what we eat". Food doesn't only affect our bodies but also our ocular health.

Scientific studies have found that adding powerful minerals and antioxidant, to your diet can enhance your vision and overall ocular health. Research has shown nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, etc., to reduce the risk of certain ocular conditions such as age–related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.

Let's understand these nutrients.

Vitamin A

it plays an important function in the formation of rhodopsin pigment, which is involved in the scotopic vision of eyes. A deficiency of vitamin A can cause an ocular condition called night blindness. A deficiency of vitamin A can also cause conditions such as xerophthalmia, which can further lead to ulcers.

RDA recommended–900 micrograms/day for men and 700 micrograms/day for women.

Lutein

Commonly found in various fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables like spinach. Lutein is a yellow pigment that belongs to the xanthophyll family of carotenoids. Naturally found in high concentration in ocular structures like the macula, lens, and retina. It acts as an anti-oxidants which is believed to be protected the eye tissue from free radicals, generated by exposure to sunlight. It also filters harmful blue effects of light to prevent retinal damage.

RDA recommended–10 mg/day.

Zeaxanthin

A yellow pigment closely related to lutein. Just Like lutein it also helps in protection against oxidative damage. And acts as a blue light filter, which protects the light damage to the retina.

RDA recommended–2 mg/day.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin does not produce by the body, so they must be obtained through diet or supplements. Foods that are rich in carotenoids are spinach, kale, broccoli, corn, carrots, and eggs.

Vitamin C

Also known as ascorbic acid, has a crucial role in maintaining ocular health and vision. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the eyes from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It helps promote proper blood flow and reduce the risk of vascular complications. It promotes tissue repair and regeneration.

The source of the vitamin C is oranges, strawberries, papaya, and tomatoes in the diet.

RDA recommended–90 mg/ day for adult males and 75 mg/day for adult women.

Vitamin E

They are suggested to have benefits for individuals with dry eye syndrome. Good sources of vitamin E include vegetable oil, nuts, sweet potato, etc.

RDA recommended–15 mg/day for both adult male and female.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

It is an essential fatty acid that can't be produced by the human body. Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acid is essential for the visual development of pre-term and full-term infants. It comes in 3 forms–DHA, ALA, and EPA. It has been shown in research that regular consumption of omega-3 helps in protection from ocular conditions such as macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and glaucoma.

Foods that are high in omega-3 are–soybean, flaxseeds, and cold water fishes like salmon, tuna, etc. are some of the best sources.

RDA recommended–not specified.

Zinc

Zinc plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina, which helps in the formation of melanin pigment. Melanin is a protective pigment in the eye. Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night blindness. Natural sources of zinc are nuts and seeds, oyster’s shellfish.

RDA recommended–11 mg/day for men and 8 mg/day for women.

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