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Best Eye Health Vitamins

Some vitamins are deemed essential for keeping your eyes in good health. These eye health vitamins contain potent antioxidants that will protect your eyes from inflammation and oxidative damage.
Having deficiencies in some vitamins increases your risk of certain eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and cataracts. Research suggests that some mineral and vitamin supplements can help protect against or slow down the development of these conditions.
In this article, we will outline four essential eye health vitamins that you should try to protect your eyes. We will also discuss three other nutrients that help take good care of your eyes. Finally, we go through a list of some of the various food sources to get these nutrients and eye health vitamins.

4 Eye Health Vitamins

People who want to protect their eyes’ health should try including sufficient amounts of the vitamins below in their diet.
Beta Carotene and Vitamin A
Vitamin A is, by far, the most important eye health vitamin. It’s a component of the protein rhodopsin, which helps you see in low-light conditions. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that having a vitamin A deficiency can lead to being blind at night.
Vitamin A can also support the function of your cornea, the protective outer layer of your eye. A person who has a vitamin A deficiency may find that their eyes are dry because the eyes aren’t able to produce enough moisture to stay lubricated.
Beta carotene is the main source of vitamin A in a person’s diet. It’s a type of plant pigment called a carotenoid that can be found in many colorful vegetables and fruits. When someone consumes carotenoids, their body will convert those pigments into vitamin A.
Vitamin E
A form of vitamin E that has powerful antioxidant properties is alpha-tocopherol.
Your body needs to have antioxidants because they help fight free radicals, causing damage to tissues throughout your body. When free radicals do this, they can damage some of the proteins in your eyes. This type of damage can lead to the development of cloudy areas – cataracts – on the lens of your eye.
Studies have been done that show that vitamin E helps protect you against cataracts and promotes lens clarity. However, vitamin E does not affect the progression of cataracts.
Vitamin C
Another powerful antioxidant that helps protect your eyes against oxidative damage is vitamin C.
Oxidative damage is one of the critical factors in two of the most common age-related cataracts: nuclear and cortical cataracts. Nuclear cataracts develop deep in the middle, or “nucleus” of your lens, which cortical cataracts occur near the edge of the lens.
Adding a vitamin C supplement to your daily routine can help reduce the risk of cataract progression and helps makes your lenses clearer overall.
B Vitamins
A study out there done in 2009 suggests that daily supplementation with a combination of vitamins B6, B9, B12 can reduce the risk of AMD, which is a degenerative eye disease that affects your vision.
Another study has been done that revealed that higher intakes of B-vitamins niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin, vitamin A, and protein had an association with a lower rate of nuclear cataracts. There have also been studies done that show a link between reduced intake of vitamin B-3, or niacin, and glaucoma.

3 Other Eye Health Nutrients

Research suggests that the nutrients listed below are also beneficial to your eye health.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein
Zeaxanthin and lutein are carotenoids that are found in high quantities in green leafy vegetables. They’re also found in the retina and lens of your eye.
Zeaxanthin and lutein are antioxidants, so they can help reduce oxidative damage in your retina.
Zinc
Zinc is a mineral that helps maintain the health of the protein structure, cell membranes, and the eye’s retinas.
Zinc helps vitamin A travel from your liver to the retina to produce melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes from ultraviolet light.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The retina contains a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids can protect the retina from degeneration and damage.
Specifically, omega-3 fatty acids reduce the buildup of fatty deposits in the eye blood vessels, including those that supply blood to the retina.

Sources of Eye Health Vitamins

A healthy, balanced diet that contains a range of the foods listed below should help provide your body with enough of these nutrients and vitamins to promote good eye health. Research has been done that shows that combining these nutrients help protect the eye.
People who take any medications or have any existing conditions in the eye should consult with their doctor before taking any dietary supplements.
Below is a list of dietary supplements that contain the vitamins and nutrients listed in this article.
Beta Carotene and Vitamin A

  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Red pepper
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes

Vitamin E

  • Asparagus
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds

Vitamin C

  • Grapefruit juice
  • Blackberries
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges

Thiamine or Vitamin B-1

  • Yogurt
  • Fish
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Pork

Riboflavin or Vitamin B-2

  • Almonds
  • Mushrooms
  • Clams
  • Milk
  • Oats
  • Beef

Niacin or Vitamin B-3

  • Peanuts
  • White and brown rice
  • Tuna and salmon
  • Chicken

Pyridoxine or Vitamin B-6

  • Tuna and salmon
  • Poultry
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Chickpeas

Folic Acid or Vitamin B-9

  • Eggs
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Peanuts
  • Dark leafy greens

Cobalamin or Vitamin B-12

  • Fortified milk
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Fish

Zeaxanthin and Lutein

  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Egg yolks
  • Corn
  • Dark leafy greens

Zinc

  • Milk
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Turkey

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Oily fish, such as herring, tuna, and sardines

Summary

There are specific nutrients and eye health vitamins that are essential for keeping your eyes in good health. Some can even prevent certain eye diseases from progressing or developing.
A healthy, balanced diet can provide you with the necessary nutrients and eye health vitamins that promote good eye health. Your diet should include plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits, legumes, and whole grains.

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By cognitune March 6, 2022 Health, Nutrition
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