Diet & Nutrition
There’s no substitute for the quality of life good vision offers. Adding certain nutrients and antioxidants to your diet every day – either through foods or supplements – can help save your vision. Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients such as lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataract formation.
Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Many studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.Lutein and zeaxanthin are important nutrients found in green leafy vegetables, as well as other foods, such as eggs.
Scientific evidence suggests vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts, and when taken in combination with other essential nutrients, can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin E in its most biologically active form is a powerful antioxidant found in nuts, fortified cereals and sweet potatoes. It is thought to protect cells of the eyes from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals which break down healthy tissue.
Essential Fatty Acids
Fats are a necessary part of the human diet. They maintain the integrity of the nervous system, fuel cells and boost the immune system. Two omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be important for proper visual development and retinal function.
The mineral Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, mostly in the retina and choroid, the vascular tissue layer lying under the retina. Zinc is an essential trace mineral or ‘helper molecule.’ It plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes.
In the last 20 years, eye health research has linked diet and nutrition with a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Written in partnership with AOA members Stuart Richer, O.D., Ph.D., and Steven Newman, O.D. The AOA acknowledges the support of Kemin and DSM Nutritional Products on this project. Kemin produces FloraGLO® Lutein, the trusted lutein ingredient brand among hundreds of multivitamins, eye formulas, supplements, foods and beverages throughout the world.
source: “Adding powerful antioxidants to your diet can improve your eye health”, eyecare.org. Web. May 15th, 2018.
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