There are many vitamins and minerals that are essential for good eye health. Some vitamins and minerals can help to prevent or treat specific eye disorders. And there are several vision supplements that claim to improve vision.
Learning more about supplements for eye health, and foods that can help support your vision through the years is a proactive way to stay engaged in the health of one of your most vital senses!
Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that can help to protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin A is also important for night vision. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is involved in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and helps to support the health of the mucous membranes that line the eye. Vitamin C is important for collagen production, which helps to keep the tissues of the eye healthy.
Minerals such as zinc and copper are also important for eye health. Zinc is involved in cell growth and repair and helps to protect the cells of the eye from damage. Copper is necessary to produce melanin, which gives the eye its color.
Eye Health Supplement Ingredients
Some common ingredients in eye health supplements include omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Let’s take a closer look at each of these ingredients to see if they can really improve your vision.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil and other sources. They are thought to be beneficial for eye health because they help reduce inflammation. One large study found that people who took omega-3 supplements had a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that can lead to blindness.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are plant compounds that are found in dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale. These compounds are thought to protect the eyes from damage by filtering out harmful blue light. One study found that people who took lutein and zeaxanthin supplements had a lower risk of developing cataracts, a condition that causes cloudy vision.
Foods That Help Support Vision Health
Carrots are often thought of as the go-to food for supporting vision health, but there are actually a variety of foods that can help keep your eyes healthy and improve your vision. Here are some of the best:
- Salmon: This fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for eye health. Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation and protect the delicate tissues in your eyes from damage.
- Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that have been shown to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
- Eggs: Eggs have nutrients like vitamin A and zinc, which are important for eye health. Vitamin A helps to produce melanin, the pigment that gives your eyes their color, and zinc is essential for maintaining healthy vision.
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help protect your eyes from damage caused by free radicals.
- Sweet potatoes: These starchy vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, which is necessary for proper eye function.
- Broccoli: Like leafy greens, broccoli is also high in lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients can help protect your eyes from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a good source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of AMD. Lycopene is found in the red pigment of these fruits and vegetables, so choose tomatoes that are deep red in color for the most benefit.
- Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cataracts. Vitamin C is also important for supporting the health of the blood vessels in your eyes.
- Whole grains: Whole wheat bread, brown rice, and other whole grains are packed with nutrients like B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium, all of which are important for eye health.
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt contain vitamin A and calcium, both of which are necessary for healthy vision. Vitamin A helps to produce melanin, the pigment that gives your eyes their color, and calcium is essential for supporting the health of the bones and tissues in your eyes.
These are just a few of the many foods that can help support vision health. Make sure to include a variety of these nutritious foods in your diet to keep your eyes healthy and improve your vision.
Protect Your Eye Health with Supplements and Dietary Vision Steps
A balanced diet, rich in essential vitamins and minerals can go a long way in protecting your vision. Supplements can help bridge the gaps in your diet to ensure you get the nutrients you need. However, supplements aren’t for everyone. If you are at risk for developing AMD or cataracts, then taking supplements may help reduce your risk. If you are concerned about your vision, it is best to speak to an optometrist or ophthalmologist at Arvada Vision & Eye Clinic in Arvada, CO so they can help you with your specific needs.