Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to maintain eye health and can help reduce the risk of developing various eye diseases.
Eating foods that contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help prevent serious eye diseases such as cataracts, atrophy, spots, glaucoma, dry eyes, and poor night vision, so come with us to learn some foods that help promote eye health:
Vitamins and foods essential for eye health
Your eyes need different types of antioxidants to stay healthy as antioxidants play a neutral role against free radicals that are constantly being produced in your body.
A balanced diet should also include a variety of proteins, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, so try to have a varied diet throughout the day because the more varied the diet, the healthier your body will be.
Here are the most important foods for the health of your eyes, and most of them are available all year round and are not expensive, and you can eat them simply or in the form of meals:
Foods essential for eye health
Fish, especially salmon, are beneficial for eye health, as they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered healthy fats and can help improve vision, retina health, and a healthy system as well as prevent dry eyes.
Add fish several times a week to your meals. Fish can be grilled or fried, seasoned with salt, lemon and aromatic vegetables, and served as a healthy meal.
Eggs are a great eye health food, as egg yolks contain vitamin A, lutein, zaxanthin and zinc, all of which are essential for eye health.
- Vitamin A protects the cornea.
- Lutein and zaxanthin reduce the risk of serious eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
- As for zinc, it promotes the health of the retina in the back of the eye, and gives the eyes the ability to see at night.
Eggs are a food that can be eaten at all times, and one of the well-known methods is boiling, and eggs can also be added to salads and sandwiches.
Like other seeds and nuts, almonds are good for the eyes in general, as they contain vitamin E, as this vitamin works against unstable molecules that attack healthy tissues.
Eating adequate amounts of vitamin E can prevent macular degeneration due to aging.
This vitamin is also found in sunflowers, hazelnuts, and peanuts.
You can eat almonds at any time of the day, or eat it as a dietary supplement, or add grains to a delicious salad.
Dairy products like milk and yogurt can be good for your eyes because they contain vitamin A and zinc:
- Vitamin A protects the cornea of the eye.
- As for zinc, it is necessary for the eyes, especially for the cornea and for the muscle tissue under the cornea, as this important mineral helps to see better at night and also helps prevent cataracts.
In general, dairy products can be consumed throughout the day, as you can have a cup of milk alongside meals or enjoy it with coffee and tea during breakfast. Yogurt is a healthy choice for breakfast and as a standalone snack.
Carrots have long been known for their eye health benefits, as they contain vitamin A and beta-carotene that help preserve the eyes and can prevent dangerous eye diseases and conditions.
Many people consider cabbage to be nutritious because it contains many important vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
But cabbage is also important for eye health because it contains antioxidants like lutein and zaxanthin, all of which help prevent eye injuries and diseases.
You may not know that lutein and zeaxanthin are not produced in the body, so you should include them in your diet. One gram of cabbage contains 2.5 mg of lutein, which the body needs daily.
Other vegetables that contain lutein include red pepper and spinach.
Oranges and other citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which is key to eye health.
This vitamin can be found in fresh fruits, citrus fruits and vegetables more than any other food as it helps capillaries in the blood to function better, and it also prevents cataracts.
Comparing vitamin C with other vitamins and nutrients prevents macular degeneration due to aging .
Vitamins are essential for eye health
Although a variety of different factors cause eye health problems, nutritional conditions also seem to affect one way or another. Here are some of the key vitamins that help keep your eyes healthy.
Vitamin A plays a major role in vision by maintaining the transparency of the cornea, which is the outer covering of the human eye.
This vitamin is a component of rhodopsin, a protein in the eyes that helps with good vision in low-light conditions.
Vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries, but if left untreated, it can lead to a serious condition called dry eyes, which is a progressive eye disease. If this vitamin deficiency occurs, tears can dry up and eventually the cornea becomes smooth, leading to irreversible blindness .
Vitamin A also helps protect you from developing other unpleasant eye diseases, and some studies have shown that diets rich in vitamin A may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration associated with aging.
For the sake of overall eye health, it is recommended to use foods rich in vitamin A more than supplements.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of nutrients and other good sources include green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, and paprika.
Many eye diseases are believed to be linked to oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage, harmful and unstable particles.
Some studies have shown that diets rich in vitamin E can reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration associated with aging, and may also prevent cataracts associated with aging.
It is recommended that you follow diets that contain enough vitamin E to maintain eye health, and some good sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, salmon, avocados, and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that protects the eyes from free radical damage and from dehydration and high eye pressure.
Results of one study showed that taking vitamin C might reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration by 25%.
In addition, vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, which is a protein involved in the formation of the eye structure, especially the cornea.
Several studies have shown that vitamin C may reduce the risk of cataracts, a disease in which the lens becomes cloudy and impaired vision.
Also, taking a vitamin C supplement might reduce the risk of cataracts by 45%.
Citrus fruits, tropical fruits, peppers, broccoli, and cabbage are some of the best sources of vitamin C for the body.
Vitamins B6, B9, and B12
This combination of vitamins can lower levels of homocysteine, a protein in the body that may be linked with inflammation and an increased risk of macular degeneration associated with aging.
The results of a study showed a 34% reduction in the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration after consuming a specific serving of these vitamins.
Riboflavin or vitamin B2
Riboflavin also known as vitamin B2 is another member of the vitamin B family that can help maintain eye health.
As an antioxidant, riboflavin is able to reduce oxidative stress in the body including the eyes.
Researchers have found that many people with cataracts also have riboflavin deficiency.
It is recommended that you eat the serving of riboflavin prescribed by your physician, as this goal is usually easy to achieve because many foods are high in riboflavin.
Some of the best sources of riboflavin are oatmeal, milk, yogurt, beef, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Niacin or Vitamin B3
The main function of niacin (vitamin B3) in the body is to aid in the process of converting food into energy, and this nutrient can also act as an antioxidant.
Studies have shown that niacin may be effective in preventing glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve.
Another study showed an association between low levels of niacin and the incidence of glaucoma.
Researchers have found that high doses of niacin supplementation were effective in preventing glaucoma.
However niacin supplements should be used with caution because overdose may have side effects such as blurred vision, macular damage and keratitis.
The best nutrients for this vitamin include beef, poultry, fish, mushrooms, peanuts and legumes.
Lutein and zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin is part of the carotenoid family, which is a group of beneficial compounds produced by plants.
These two carotenoids are present in the human retina which helps filter out potentially harmful blue light and thus protect your eyes from damage.
Several studies have shown that these compounds may prevent cataracts, promote macular degeneration associated with aging, and reduce the effect of the sun’s ultraviolet rays on the eyes. You should also know that lutein, like vitamin A, enhances night vision.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can naturally satisfy the human need for these nutrients, especially boiled spinach leaves, kale and cabbage, which are rich in these carotenoids.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat in which the human retinal cell membrane contains high concentrations of DHA which is a type of omega-3.
In addition to helping with the formation of eye cells, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in preventing diabetic neuropathy.
Also, these fatty acids may be beneficial for people with dry eyes because they help produce more tears, as dehydration causes a lack of tears, discomfort and blurred vision at times.
You can increase the consumption of fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, soybeans, nuts and olive oil to increase the fatty acids in your diet.
Thiamin or vitamin B1 is involved in optimal cellular function and the conversion of food into energy.
This nutrient may also help reduce the risk of cataracts, as the results of a study conducted in Australia showed a 40% lower risk of developing this disease among people who were following a diet rich in thiamine.
Additionally, thiamine has been shown to treat diabetic retinopathy.
According to the results of a clinical study, people who consumed a controlled and controlled serving of thiamine three times daily experienced a decrease in urine albumin, a sign of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetes.
Good food sources of thiamine include cereals, red meat, fish, breakfast cereals, bread and pasta.
Zinc is useful and effective for strengthening the body and especially for eye health because this mineral protects the eyes from the negative effects of UV rays and aging.
Zinc is found in all cells of the body especially the adrenal glands, skin, some parts of the brain, pancreas, and eye membranes.
You should know that recent research results show that excessive consumption of zinc or its supplements can significantly prevent macular degeneration.