4 Nutrients You Need for The Best Vision Health
It’s incredibly important to ensure you are getting the appropriate nutrients to support your vision health. As we age our eyes lose strength and agility, but environmental factors also speed up that recession. From air pollution and sun exposure to age-related illnesses, our eyes are extremely vulnerable organs. Ensure your optimal vision and eye health by ensuring you have a daily dose of these 4 eye vitamins and nutrients:
Support Your Vision Health With These Important Nutrients
Zinc is a mineral that maintains the health of your retina and macula in the eyeball. It assists Vitamin A with creating melanin which protects your eyes from excess light flooding through your retinas. People with a zinc deficiency often report poor night vision and cataract development. It can also help slow down age-related macular degeneration (the partial vision loss experienced by people over the age of 50), in addition to maintaining vision health in general.
Zinc in foods: Oysters, Turkey, Eggs
Beta-carotene is an important nutrient that converts into Vitamin A in the eyes which is a critical step in protecting the surface of the eyes and preventing night blindness. Night blindness is caused by a Vitamin A deficiency (among other causes) and can be remedied by increasing your beta-carotene intake in your diet. In young people, beta-carotene can help prevent Stargardt’s disease which causes vision loss. It, like zinc, can also slow down age-related macular degeneration.
Beta-Carotene in foods: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Pumpkin
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids have numerous benefits to our overall health, but specifically, they promote vision health. Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory agent that can decrease the risk of glaucoma and high blood pressure in the eyes. It’s also crucial for eye development in infants. For adults, it reduces the risk of macular degeneration as well as dry eye syndrome.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids in foods: Salmon, Tuna, Sardines
Antioxidants are crucial to protecting your body’s cells from free radical attacks. Free radicals are created in the body, but to live longer they try to steal the electrons from other cells damaging them in the process. In your eyes, this can result in diminishing quality of vision, macular degeneration, and cataract development. There are a variety of antioxidants that perform different jobs for your eyes:
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin- Most people are deficient in both these antioxidants. We need them to protect our eyes from environmental elements like sun exposure and air pollution. They are found naturally in spinach, kale, and other dark leafy greens.
- Bioflavonoids(1)- These antioxidants promote the health of your blood vessels in the eyes and your corneas. They are instrumental in protecting your eyes from cataract development and macular degeneration. You can find bioflavonoids naturally in red wine, cherries, and blueberries.
Vision health should be a priority for everyone, and knowing which nutrients best promote that health is pivotal. Although there are many more nutrients for vision health, zinc, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, multivitamins and antioxidants are all essential to the strength and lifespan of your eyes. Ensure you are getting these nutrients by eating foods rich in them or taking appropriate supplements to fill that need.
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Article reference: (1) https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/bioflavonoids