5. Nutrition for Healthy Eyes
The following vitamins, minerals and nutrients have been shown to be essential for good vision and may even protect your eyes from eye conditions and diseases:
- Beta-carotene: When taken in combination with zinc and vitamins C and E, beta-carotene may reduce the progression of macular degeneration. Food sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and butternut squash.
- Bioflavonoids or Flavonoids: Protects against cataracts and macular degeneration. Food sources include tea, red wine, citrus fruits, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, legumes and soy products.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Prevents cataracts and macular degeneration. Food sources include spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens and squash.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: May help prevent macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eyes. Food sources include cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring; fish and flaxseed oil supplements, freshly ground flaxseeds and walnuts.
- Selenium: When combined with carotenoids and vitamins C and E, selenium may reduce the risk of advanced AMD. Food sources include seafood like shrimp, crab, salmon and halibut, Brazil nuts, enriched noodles and brown rice.
- Vitamin A: Protects against night blindness and dry eyes. Food sources include beef or chicken liver, eggs, butter and milk.
- Vitamin C: Reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Food sources include sweet red or green peppers, kale, strawberries, broccoli, oranges and cantaloupe.
- Vitamin D: May reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Food sources include salmon, sardines, mackerel and milk. The best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun stimulates the production of vitamin D in human skin.
- Vitamin E: When combined with carotenoids and vitamin C, vitamin E may reduce the risk of advanced AMD. Food sources include almonds, sunflower seed and hazelnuts.