correcting imperfect eyesight. It’s a really interesting book and I truly recommend it to everyone.
Anyway, while I was reading this book I started thinking about all the things people do to protect their health and to improve their appearance, but how little they do to protect and improve one of the most important functions of their body- their eyesight.
When most people consider their diet, they think of how the food they eat will affect their weight, energy, cardiovascular health, cholesterol and so forth. One thing, however, that most people don’t think about is supplying the proper nutrition for outstanding eye health. Yes vision loss is not inevitable and with the right measures it can be prevented (or at least postponed).
One of these measures is making sure that you get enough of the following 7 nutrients.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids that act as sunscreen for your eyes, thus preventing light-induced oxidative damage that leads to macular degeneration.
In addition they are also capable of preventing the formation of cataracts.
These two antioxidants can be found in many fruits and vegetables, and also in the human eye’s macula (I definitely advise you to focus on the first two sources!). The best food sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin are kale, spinach, paprika, corn, eggs, broccoli, papaya, oranges and others.
Vitamin A is essential for good vision because it protects the surface of the eye.
Studies also show that eye drops containing vitamin A are very effective for dry eyes treatment.
In combination with other antioxidants, Vitamin A, also appears to play a role in decreasing the risk of macular degeneration.
In the landmark Age-Related Eye Disease Study (which the National Eye Institute sponsored), patients at high risk for the disease took a daily multi-vitamin that included vitamin A (as beta carotene), vitamin E, vitamin C, copper, and zinc had a 25% reduced risk of advanced macular degeneration during a 6-year period.
Another study also showed that people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) may have a prolonged vision thanks to a combination of Lutein and Vitamin A.
Foods rich on vitamin A are liver, paprika, sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens and others.
This vitamin helps guard the membranes of the cells throughout your entire body (including the eyes) against damage caused by the notorious free radicals.
Studies show that taking vitamin E may also act to reduce the development of macular degeneration with around 25%.
A combination of vitamin E and C is also a good way to treat uveitis (an inflammation of the uvea, which is the middle layer). A clinical study of a group of subjects having uveitis found that those who took the vitamins (E and C) had clearer vision than the subjects who took a placebo.
In addition, vitamin E is also thought to help decrease the risk of developing cataracts. Great sources of vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, paprika, dried apricots and others.
Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant and a water-soluble vitamin. It helps the body form and maintain connective tissue and collagen which is found in the cornea of the eye.
Studies show that long-term consumption of vitamin C reduces the risk of vision loss from macular degeneration and forming cataracts.
This vitamin is abundant in fruits and vegetables, the richest among which are red bell peppers, berries, papaya, citrus fruits and broccoli.
High levels of this mineral are found in the macula. One of its main benefits for your eye’s health is that it
enables vitamin A to produce melanin- a pigment known to protect the eye. It also helps the absorption of vitamin E.
Zinc is also used by many of the enzymes that have important eye functions.
Finally, it offers protection from macular degeneration.
Foods with high content of Zinc include oysters, other see-food, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and my personal favorite chia seeds.
Low levels of Selenium have been shown to lead to a decrease in vision and many other eye diseases like cataract, nyctalopia, retinopathy, and so on.
It is also another mineral that helps the absorption of vitamin E. Sources you can turn to are Brazil nuts, tuna fish, shellfish, beef, poultry and eggs.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
A number of studies show that omega 3 fatty acids can help protect adult eyes from the already mentioned macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.
Essential fatty acids also decrease the risk of glaucoma and high eye pressure by improving drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye.
A specific type of Omega 3 called DHA may have shown to prevent age-related vision loss in a recent study. A toxic molecule that accumulates in the retina of the eye with age did not do so in tests of lab mice that received DHA supplements. This toxin’s build up, that normally would cause vision loss, was seemed to be fully prevented by the DHA. This omega 3 fatty acid is found in fish such as sardines, mackerel, and salmon.
Other great sources of omega 3 include chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and sea food.
This concludes my list of the 7 nutrients that improve eyesight. Taking proper care of our eyes is one of the most important and most underestimated health issues. Really, being fit and energetic is great, but being able to see properly is absolutely vital! If you want to have a look at a great system, designed to improve your eyesight click here!
Good luck and SEE you later ;)