Your diet plays an important role in the care and protection of your eyes and is your first line of defense to prevent eye related illnesses, blindness, and other sight impairment issues. Fortunately, nutritionists have pinpointed key nutrients that can promote healthy eyes.
Vitamin A and vitamin C were inversely associated with age-related cataract in Asian populations but not in Western populations, and beta-carotene and lycopene had no significant association with risk of cataract.
The researchers did not study the role of antioxidant or vitamin supplement intake in preventing cataract and recommended that this role be investigated with additional studies.
If you’re over age 50, it’s likely your diet doesn’t contain all the nutrients necessary for optimum eye health. That’s the finding of a recent review of nutritional studies performed by researchers at Tufts University and Lesley University.
The pigment in red bell peppers is the source of most of the zeaxanthin used in nutritional supplements.
The review highlighted data from the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which indicates that most Americans fall below the optimal intake of the following nutrients that research shows can help protect eye health as people age: vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
The researchers concluded that to limit vision loss within the aging U.S. population, it’s important to increase awareness among Americans, especially those aged 45 to 65, about the importance of nutrients and foods that could help prevent age-related eye disease.
- Vitamin C: citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes and broccoli
- Vitamin E: vegetable oils, wheat germ, nuts and legumes
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, corn, colored bell peppers
- Beta-carotene: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach
- Zinc: oysters, beef and other meats, nuts
- Omega-3 fatty acids: salmon and other cold-water fish
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Eye vitamins and other supplements also can help meet required daily intakes of these nutrients. But anyone considering a program of dietary supplements should consult their eye doctor or other health-care provider beforehand, the study authors advised.