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Top Foods to Protect Your Vision

Top Foods to Protect Your Vision

When it comes to protecting your vision, what you eat may affect the way you see. Certain vitamins and minerals found in food and supplements may play a role in preventing vision problems, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Eating the right food can protect your vision and keep you healthy. Researchers say that foods rich in vitamin C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids are linked to lower risk for age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and even dry eye later in life. To get these nutrients, your best sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are organic, whole foods.


Four Types of Food That Help Improve Vision

1. Vitamin C

Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients. The benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. You can eat plenty of fruits and vegetables or take a dietary supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits. Foods with lots of vitamin c are oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit, strawberries, tomatoes, red and green peppers, and broccoli. 

2. Vitamin E

Found naturally in some food and available as a dietary supplement, vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) formed when fat undergoes oxidation. The benefits of regularly taking vitamin E include providing cell protection, a powerful antioxidant to help fight off infections, and helps to protect eyesight. It also prevents coronary heart disease, supports immune function. Prevent inflammation, promotes eye health, and lowers the risk of cancer. Healthy sources of vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, and avocados. 

3. Zinc

Zinc is considered an essential nutrient, meaning your body can’t produce or store it. For this reason, you must get a constant supply through your diet. Zinc is required for numerous processes in your body, including gene expression, enzymatic reactions, immune function, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, wound healing, and growth and development. It’s found in a wide variety of both plants and animal food such as legumes (beans and lentils), seeds, meat/seafood, dairy, and eggs. Zinc is a vital mineral that your body uses in countless ways. 

In fact, zinc is the second-most-abundant trace in your body after iron and is present in every cell. Zinc boosts your immune system, accelerates wound healing, reduces the risk of certain age-related diseases, and decreases inflammation. Zinc is also involved in the formation of visual pigment in your retina. For this reason, zinc deficiency may lead to night blindness. 

4. Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Mesozeaxanthin

Lutein,zeaxanthin and mesozeaxanthin help protect your eyes from harmful high-energy light waves like ultraviolet rays in sunlight. You can find these three cartenoidsin many vegetables, but to achieve beneficial levels supplementation may be necessary for many people. All three of these carotenoids are naturally found in the eye. Many doctors believe these potent antioxidants play a key role in healthy vision. Diets richin these nutrients may help to hold off age-related eye diseases and decrease macular degeneration. 

Lutein,zeaxanthin and mesozeaxanthin are often found in foods that are a part of the ‘carotenoid’ family of plant pigments. Carotenoids give colors to many fruits and vegetables. You can find lutein, zeaxanthin and mesozeatxanhinin leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and swiss chard. Broccoli, asparagus, and colorful fruits such as raspberries, papaya, and mangoes are also full of eye-healthy carotenoids.

Cataract Prevention

Did you know that regularly enjoying a piece of fruit and a side of vegetables can help prevent vision loss from cataracts? Many studies show that diet-rich foods with antioxidants may reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Antioxidants are foods that keep us healthy by delaying or slowing down oxidation, which causes again or cell death. Oxidation can also lead to cataracts by causing changes to fats and proteins in the eye’s lens, making the lens cloudy. 

Foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, carotenoids, and lutein and zeaxanthin, and selenium (pasta, bread, and grains) all help protect our cells from damage. While you can get supplements in pill form at the drugstore, antioxidants are most beneficial from fruits and vegetables and other whole food. 

At Asheville Vision and Wellness, we care about your eye health. That is why we offer eye-related nutritional counseling, including education and strategies for healthy eating and lifestyle changes. For more information about our eye exams, eye health counseling, or medical treatments, contact us today