Can Eating Healthy Help Protect My Eyes?

I am 51 years old. Up to the time I was 40, I had 20/20 vision and took that blessing for granted.  Now, I can not read any small print with out glasses and have had 4 bouts with an unusual eye virus called Anterior Corneal Dystrophies.  What I can do to protect my eyes has become a higher priority for me.

Nutrients that Help Support Eyes

There are proven nutrients that help support eye health:

  • Vitamin A – one form of it is actually called retinal.  Retinal and retinoids are found in fish, poultry and dairy. Carotenoids, a second form of Vitamin A, is found in colored fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin E – according to the American Optometric Association, vitamin E can help decrease your risk of cataracts which is on the rise. Macular degeneration is expected to triple by 2025*.  It helps protect eyes through the free radical power from its’ antioxidants.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin – The AOA website stresses the importance of including Lutein and Zeaxanthin bloated foods such as egg yolks and leafy green vegetables.  These carotenoids help filter harmful light wavelengths.  
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids– The DHA in fatty acid fish may help prevent  and treat abnormal blood vessel growth. **
  • Vitamin C – According to the AOA, a recent analysis of results from a national dietary study (Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) found that higher levels of Vitamin C in the diet were associated with lower risk of cataracts.
  • Zinc – works in conjunction with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene to help promote eye health.  Zinc rich foods, include seafood, lean protein and seeds.

It’s proven time and time again that healthy, seasonal whole foods help promote better overall health. The nutrients sited are a part of these foods and help protect your eyes as well.

*http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/nutrition?sso=y

**CleanEating-September, 2015

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