The nutrients that you add to your plate play a significant role in determining your eye health. Undeniably, your vision is the most important of all the five senses. And like other senses and organs, your eye health declines as you climb the age ladder.
Nutrients help prevent eye damage while protecting your eyesight from harmful UV light. Moreover, they assist in maintaining your eye functionality while slashing the risk of the development of age-related degenerative diseases.
Here are some of the vital nutrients that you need to add to your diet to maximize your eye health:
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Both of these nutrients are powerful antioxidants that are commonly present in vision-boosting supplements. These antioxidants are known as macular pigments, as they are concentrated in the macula, which is the central part of the retina.
Lutein and zeaxanthin work as natural sunblock, playing a chief role in safeguarding your eyes against harmful blue light. An observational study consisting of middle-aged and elderly people showed that consuming 6 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin helps s reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Some food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include green kale, peas, Swiss chard, spinach, pistachios and parsley.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are the nutrients that make it to almost all important health lists including those related to enhanced brain function, improved cardiovascular health, and skin health as well. There healthy fats are great for boosting eye health too.
Both the long-chain omega-3s, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are crucial for eye health, as they help in maintaining its functionality. Evidence suggests that taking these as supplements can help people with dry eye disease.
- Vitamin A
A lack of vitamin A corresponds with the development of night blindness. The vitamin is critical for maintaining the eyes’ light sensing cells called as photoreceptors. Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to dry eyes as well as other serious eye diseases.
You can get your fill of vitamin A from animal-derived foods such as dairy products, egg yolk and liver. Some antioxidant plant compounds known as provitamin A carotenoids are also good sources of the vitamin. These are commonly present in vegetables and fruits. Don’t forget to eat carrots, spinach, and kale as well to get vitamin A.
- Vitamin E
Multiple eye conditions occur due to oxidative stress, which surfaces due to an imbalance in the free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Vitamin E can help preserve this balance by protecting eye cells from free radical damage.
Studies suggest that a diet that boasts a rich content of vitamin E may aids in keeping age-related cataracts at bay. However, more research is needed to confirm this. Some vital sources of vitamin E include seeds, cooking oils, and nuts. Plant sources that are rich in vitamin E are avocados and leafy green veggies.
Lastly, niacin or vitamin B3 is also excellent for eye health as it is an antioxidant. Research says that niacin may chip a crucial role in preventing glaucoma, a condition that is related with optic nerve damage.
Studies have also seen a link between increased risk of glaucoma and low dietary intake of niacin. Some source of niacin include fish, mushrooms, beef, poultry, legumes, and peanuts.