Diet and Nutrition for Eye Health

Diet and Nutrition for Eye Health

Picture of fruits and vegetables

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You know that a healthy diet and getting enough exercise are integral components of our overall health, but you may not know that a healthy lifestyle can benefit your eyes as well. In this blog, we’ll discuss the connection between diet, nutrition and ocular health.

Vitamins and nutrients from food

Growing bodies of research suggest that eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, dry eye disease, cataracts, and glaucoma. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a great way to keep your body and your eyes in good shape. According to the American Optometric Association(AOA), foods high in nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins A, C, D, and E, and zinc may reduce the risk of some eye diseases. The following are good sources of eye healthy nutrients:

  • Eggs and leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collards contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. 
  • Salmon, tuna, trout, and other cold water fatty fishes contain Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D which may protect the eyes from macular degeneration and dry eye disease. 
  • Beef and chicken liver, whole milk, carrots and sweet potatoes contain vitamin A/beta carotene and may protect the eyes from night blindness, dry eye disease, and retinal diseases like macular degeneration. 
  • Citrus fruits and strawberries contain vitamin C which may protect the eyes from cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. 
  • Avocados and nuts contain vitamin E which may protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. 
  • Beans, oysters, and beef contain zinc which may protect your eyes from cataracts, macular degeneration, and poor night vision. 

The best way to get nutrients is from the food you eat, however supplements do exist for those who have trouble getting enough nutrients from diet alone. It is important to talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet. Excessive levels of some supplements can be dangerous, and may interact with other medications you take. An annual eye exam is the best way to stay on top of your ocular health. To schedule, call or text (907) 328-2920.

Sources:

American Academy of Ophthalmology “Diet and Nutrition” https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/diet-and-nutrition?sso=y

Written By:

Gina Stafford COA, LDO, ABOC

Posted in: Eye Health Guide, Patient Education

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