Eye health and vision can be significantly impacted upon by the diet and nutrients a person intakes every day.
Many eye diseases are a result of inflammation and deficiencies in certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The best foods to eat plenty of are:
The recommended quantities by Dieticians Australia is 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves (1 serve =1/2 cup) of vegetables a day.
As research continues on the benefits of vision supplements in reducing the risk of eye problems (and perhaps in optimizing visual acuity in healthy eyes), it seems wise to supplement your diet with a daily "vision multivitamin" that contains many, if not all, of the following ingredients.
Most of these vitamins and other nutrients play a key role in reducing the risk or slowing the progression of degenerative diseases, including chronic eye problems.
The vitamins, minerals and other nutrients listed below have been shown to be essential for good vision and may protect your eyes from sight-threatening conditions and diseases.
Eye benefits: May protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Food sources: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, butternut squash. RDA:None (Most supplements contain 5,000 to 25,000 IU).
Eye benefits: May protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Food sources: tea, red wine, citrus fruits, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, legumes, soy products. RDA: None.
Eye benefits: May prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Food sources: Spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, squash. RDA: 6-10mg
Eye benefits: May help prevent macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eyes. Food sources: Cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna; flaxseed oil and fish oil; ground flaxseeds and walnuts. RDA: None. (For cardiovascular benefits, the American Heart Association recommends approximately 1,000 mg daily.)
Eye benefits: When combined with carotenoids and vitamins C and E, may reduce the risk of advanced AMD. Food sources: Seafood (prawns, crab, salmon, halibut); Brazil nuts; enriched noodles; brown rice. RDA: 55 mcg for teens and adults (60 mcg for women during pregnancy and 70 mcg when breastfeeding).
Eye benefits: May protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Food sources: Beef or chicken liver, cod liver oil, eggs, butter, milk. RDA: 3,000 IU for men; 2,333 IU for women (2,567 IU during pregnancy and 4,333 IU when breast-feeding).
Eye benefits: May reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Food sources: Sweet peppers (red or green), kale, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, cantaloupe. RDA: 90 mg for men; 70 mg for women (85 mg during pregnancy and 120 mg when breast-feeding).
Eye benefits: May reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Food sources: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, milk, orange juice fortified with vitamin D. RDA: None. The best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. UV from the sun stimulates production of vitamin D in human skin, and just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight each day (without sunscreen) will insure your body is producing adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Eye benefits: Helps reduce the risk of night blindness; may play a role in reducing risk of advanced AMD. Food sources: Oysters; beef, crab, turkey (dark meat). RDA: 11 mg for men; 8 mg for women (11 mg during pregnancy and 12 mg when breastfeeding).