Foods rich in Vitamin A is essential for eye health and also plays a vital role in other body functions. Vitamin A is stored in the body, so you do not have to take it every day like some other vitamins. However, it is important that you get the right amount of vitamin A regularly.
There are two different types of vitamin A: animal sources contain retinol and plant sources contain carotenoids. Plant sources are converted into retinol by the body. Animal sources are considered preformed vitamin A and do not require conversion.
You can get vitamin A from many foods, but there are a few that provide more than others.
Foods Rich In Vitamin A For Eyes
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that plays a crucial role in vision. It helps the surface of the eye, reducing the risk of developing infections.
Vitamin A rich foods that help keep your eyes healthy
One of the richest sources of vitamin A is carrot. It is said that just one carrot has over 200 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, plus it has got other essential nutrients like vitamins B, K, and C, as well as fibre and magnesium.
The yummy fruit is said to have about 10 percent of vitamin A, but they are said to be super healthy for your eyes. Make sure you add some peaches to your diet.
These delicious and sweet fruits are the perfect go-to snacks and are packed with vitamin A and other important nutrients and antioxidants that help keep your eyes healthy.
Spinach is yet another food that has a good amount of vitamin A along with iron that keeps your eyes healthy. Just one cup of spinach can give you 100 percent of vitamin A.
Mangoes may be high in sweetness and calories, but one mango doesn’t harm; in fact, it can only help keep your eyes healthy. A cupful of mangoes can give you upto 35 percent of vitamin A.
Papaya has got tons of nutrients and minerals along with antioxidants and enzymes that are beneficial for your overall health. It is said that papayas give 29 percent of your daily value of vitamin A.
7. Red bell peppers
You heard us! Add red bell peppers to your food more often, as it they give you about 75 percent of vitamin A along with lycopene and vitamin C that help keep your eyes and health in check.
Check for any allergies before switching to these foods or consult a doctor who will be able to tell you better about your vitamin A deficiency.
Vegetables for eyesight improvement
Hopefully most of us have made it through allergy season with our mental and well-being in tack – not to mention our visuals as well. It’s been a rough road to recovery with piles of tissues, bottles of nasal sprays, vials of lubricating eye drops for those dry eyes. And as usual, the schedule for eye appointments always peaks right around allergy season time here at the office.
If there is one thing we locals in Asheville know is one the best remedies for combating allergies, it’s the fact you must eat the local honey! It’s pretty much common knowledge the local honey infuses your body with the necessary antibiotics to fight off or minimize allergies. Isn’t it funny how we’re quick to access this local wisdom when it comes to something as common as allergies, but when it comes to knowing what you can eat to prevent dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts not so much?
Most of the time we don’t really give much thought to our vision until something goes wrong. Given the fact we’re living in an age of “information overload,” life has become very busy. Sometimes we’re not aware something is broken or not operating properly until the warning signals start to beep and go off. In the world of eye health care that would be blurry vision, headaches and/or watery eye symptoms. Yet, much of what we see can be prevented or kept at bay with one simple step.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT.
One powerful and simple step you can take in protecting your precious sense of sight is by taking mindful steps around your diet; watch what you eat. We don’t often connect the dots between our vision and what we had for breakfast, lunch or dinner but we should. When we bring a sense of intention to what we eat, we empower ourselves to better care for our vision long before a visit to the eye doctor is required.
So, we thought we’d give you a hand by providing you a quick “check list” of foods that are powerful health agents and high in antioxidants. This way the next time you’re out to grab a bite to eat or you’re at the grocery store shopping for your weekly meal plans, you’ll have a head start on what to include on your food list.
Cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts. If you don’t eat seafood, you can get a good supply of omega-3s by using fish oil supplements or taking vegetarian supplements that contain black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil.
Spinach, kale and collard greens, to name just a few, are packed full of lutein and zeaxanthin, important plant pigments that can help stem the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Broccoli, peas and avocados are also good sources of this powerful antioxidant duo.
The vitamins and nutrients in eggs, including lutein and vitamin A (which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes), promote eye health and function.
A diet containing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) can help reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration. Swap refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole-wheat breads and pasta. The vitamin E, zinc and niacin found in whole grains also help promote overall eye health.
Citrus Fruits and Berries
Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and berries are high in vitamin C, which may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Pistachios, walnuts, almonds — whichever type tickles your fancy — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost your eye health.
Kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are good sources of bioflavonoids and zinc — and can help protect the retina and lower the risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil and Black Currant Seed Oil
These super supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids and have many eye health benefits, including helping to prevent or control dry eye syndrome as well as reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Help keep your eyes healthy and disease-free by snacking on sunflowers seeds, which are excellent sources of vitamin E and zinc.
In moderation, lean beef in your diet can boost your eye health. Beef contains zinc, which helps your body absorb vitamin and may play a role in reducing risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.
Top 10 foods for healthy eyes
People often believe that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain. In truth, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, found that certain nutrients — zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — may reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by 25 percentTrusted Source.
This study was updated in 2013 to test different versions of the original formula. The variations included omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene; the study found that certain combinations may work better than others.
Further studies agree thatTrusted Source omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin are vital for eye health.
In this article, we look at the evidence for 10 nutrient-rich foods to boost eye health. We also discuss other tips for healthy eyes and eye health warning signs.
Ten best foods for eye health
Organizations such as the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) continue to recommend nutrients for eye health based on the AREDS reports.
The AREDS reports support the following 10 nutrient-rich foods:
Many fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Oily fish are fish that have oil in their gut and body tissue, so eating them offers higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil. The fish that contains the most beneficial levels of omega-3s include:
Some studies have found that fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer.
2. Nuts and legumes
Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain a high level of vitamin E, which can protect the eye from age-related damage.
Nuts are available for purchase in most grocery stores and online. Nuts and legumes that are good for eye health include:
- Brazil nuts
Like nuts and legumes, seeds are high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E.
Seeds are available for purchase in most grocery stores and online. Seeds high in omega-3 include:
- chia seeds
- flax seeds
- hemp seeds
4. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Just like vitamin E, vitamin C is an antioxidant that is recommended by the AOA to fight age-related eye damage.
Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits include:
5. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a good source of eye-friendly vitamin C.
Well-known leafy greens include:
Carrots are rich in both Vitamin A and beta carotene. Beta carotene gives carrots their orange color.
Vitamin ATrusted Source plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light.
Research on beta carotene’s role in vision is mixed, though the body needs this nutrient to make vitamin A.
7. Sweet potatoes
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene. They are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked toTrusted Source better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration.
The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina, and the vascular tissue surrounding the retina.
Meats such as chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc, but at lower levels Trusted Source than beef.
Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also good sources of vitamins C and E, and zinc.
It may come as no surprise that a fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health.
Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which may reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
Eating a varied diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins is enough to ensure most people get the right nutrients for eye health.
People who cannot get these nutrients from their diet should ask an eye doctor about eye health supplements.
People with vision problems or those with very restrictive diets should talk to an eye health provider about the right foods to eat.
The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health
Your eyes are complex organs that need many different vitamins and nutrients to function properly.
Common conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts, can impact your eyes.
Though a variety of different factors causes these conditions, nutrition seems to have an influence on all of them — at least in part.
Here are 9 key vitamins and nutrients that help maintain eye health.
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in vision by maintaining a clear cornea, which is the outside covering of your eye.
Vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries, but if unaddressed can lead to a serious condition called xerophthalmia.
Xerophthalmia is a progressive eye disease which begins with night blindness. If vitamin A deficiency continues, your tear ducts and eyes can dry out. Eventually, your cornea softens, resulting in irreversible blindness
Vitamin A may also help protect against other eye afflictions. Some studies suggest that diets high in vitamin A may be associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Severe vitamin A deficiency can lead to xerophthalmia, a serious condition that can result in blindness. In some studies, high amounts of vitamin A intake were associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Many eye conditions are believed to be associated with oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps protect your cells — including your eye cells — from damage by free radicals, which are harmful, unstable molecules.
Nonetheless, a diet that includes adequate vitamin E is recommended to maintain proper eye health. Some vitamin-E-rich options include nuts, seeds and cooking oils. Salmon, avocado and leafy green vegetables are also good sources.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant, may help protect your eyes against damaging free radicals. It’s used in a daily supplement called AREDS as a potential treatment for AMD, and high amounts in your diet may be associated with a reduced risk of cataracts.
Like vitamin E, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that may protect your eyes against damaging free radicals
Citrus and tropical fruits, bell peppers, broccoli and kale contain particularly high amounts of vitamin C, making them great options to boost your daily intake.
Vitamin C forms collagen, a protein that provides structure to your eyes. Observational studies suggest that this vitamin may protect against cataracts and help prevent the progression of AMD.
Researchers have also studied several B vitamins for their impact on eye health, particularly vitamins B6, B9 and B12.
This combination of vitamins can lower levels of homocysteine, a protein in your body that may be associated with inflammation and an increased risk of developing AMD.
A clinical study in women demonstrated a 34% reduced risk of developing AMD while taking 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12 along with vitamins B6 and B9 .
However, more research is needed to confirm the benefits of these supplements. In addition, it’s unclear if increasing your intake of vitamin-B-rich foods would have similar effects.
The combination of vitamins B6, B9 and B12 may help reduce your risk of developing AMD by lowering your homocysteine levels.
Another B vitamin studied in relation to eye health is riboflavin (vitamin B2). As an antioxidant, riboflavin has the potential to reduce oxidative stress in your body, including your eyes
In particular, scientists are studying riboflavin’s potential to prevent cataracts, as prolonged riboflavin deficiency may lead to this condition. Interestingly, many individuals with cataracts also are deficient in this antioxidant
One study found a 31–51% decreased risk of cataracts development when participants’ diets included 1.6–2.2 mg of riboflavin per day, compared to .08 mg per day
Health authorities recommend consuming 1.1–1.3 mg of riboflavin per day. It’s usually easy to achieve this amount, as many foods are high in riboflavin. Some examples include oats, milk, yogurt, beef and fortified cereals
As an antioxidant, riboflavin may protect against damaging free radicals in your eyes. Diets high in riboflavin have been associated with a reduced risk of developing cataracts.
The main function of niacin (vitamin B3) in your body is to help convert food into energy. It can also act as an antioxidant
Recently, studies have suggested that niacin may play a role in the prevention of glaucoma, a condition in which the optic nerve of your eye becomes damaged
Overall, more research on the potential link between niacin and glaucoma is needed.
However, there is no evidence that consuming foods naturally high in niacin has any adverse effects. Some food sources include beef, poultry, fish, mushrooms, peanuts and legumes.
Studies suggest that niacin may prevent the development of glaucoma, but supplements should be used with caution.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are part of the carotenoid family, a group of beneficial compounds synthesized by plants.
Recommended daily intakes and safe supplemental doses have not been established for these compounds. However, up to 20 mg of lutein per day for 6 months has been used in studies without adverse effects
Nonetheless, supplements may not be necessary. As little as 6 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin may yield benefits, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables naturally provides this amount. Cooked spinach, kale and collard greens are particularly high in these carotenoids
Lutein and zeaxanthin are beneficial plant compounds that may help prevent AMD and cataracts. No recommended daily intakes have been established, but a diet high in fruits and vegetables can provide plenty of these nutrients.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. The cell membranes of your retina contain a high concentration of DHA, a particular type of omega-3.
Besides helping form the cells of your eye, omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory properties which may play a role in the prevention of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
To increase omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, include rich sources such as fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, soy and nuts. Omega-3s can also be found in cooking oils such as canola and olive oil.