We all know that no amount of money can substitute the quality of life that good eye health can bring.
However, a survey revealed that although baby boomers (people between the ages of 45-60), considered vision to be "the most important of the five senses" over 50% of those surveyed were not aware of the importance of eye nutrients and vitamins for eye health.
In fact, while over half of the baby boomers surveyed were taking supplements for heart, bone and joint health only 18% were taking any supplements to support vision health.
There are countless research studies connecting the intake of eye nutrients such as lutein, astaxanthin, and zeaxanthin, including vitamins for eye health such as Vitamin A, C and E, and minerals such as zinc to reducing the risk of progressive eye diseases.
In this post, we'll aim to create an awareness of the nutrients, vitamins, foods, and supplements that are essential for eye health and how they can be used in the prevention of eye disease and improve overall eye health in general.
Table of Contents
- Why Eye Health is So Important Today
- Types of Vision Problems
- Benefits of Nutrients and Vitamins for Eye Health
- Top Nutrients and Vitamins for Eye Health
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Eye Health
- Gamma-Linolenic Acid for Eye Health
- Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene for Eye Health
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) for Eye Health
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) for Eye Health
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) for Eye Health
- Vitamin B7 (Biotin) for Eye Health
- Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 for Eye Health
- Vitamin C for Eye Health
- Vitamin E for Eye Health
- Zinc for Eye Health
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin for Eye Health
- Astaxanthin for Eye Health
- Lycopene for Eye Health
- Water for Eye Health
- Key Takeaways
Why Eye Health is So Important Today
Before we delve into the nutrients and vitamins for eye health, let's take a closer look at the facts to understand why eye health is more important today than ever before.
Aging baby boomers
Approximately 26% of the entire United States’ population is made up of baby boomers. The National Eye Institute has estimated that in the course of the next three decades the number of Americans that will experience some sort of eye problems will double, all due to the number of aging baby boomers.
Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO, and President of the Ocular Nutrition Society stated that when people are at risk for cardiovascular diseases they make amends to their lifestyle, and "people are as concerned about their eyes but do not know the simple steps they need to incorporate into their daily lives to take care of them."
Dr. Anshel added, "As we grow older, the need for certain vitamins and nutrients to support the eye increases."
Among the baby boomers surveyed by the Ocular Nutrition Society, 60% were unaware of the importance of essential fatty acids, 66% did not know the role lutein plays in eye health and a staggering 89% were not aware of the essential eye nutrient zeaxanthin.
Also, half of the baby boomers surveyed state that they don't have an annual eye exam.
Another major reason why eye health is an important concern today is the use of digital devices, and the impact they can have on eye health.
Emitted by LED lighting, but more importantly Smartphones, tablets, laptops and television, blue light is high-energy visible light that can lead to serious eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and even blindness.
Blue light is also known to suppress the sleep hormone, melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. What's more, lack of sleep and prolonged screen time are known to cause eye strain symptoms such as dryness, eye fatigue, blurry and double vision, headaches and more.
Statistics show that "four-in-ten seniors now own smartphones, more than double the share that did so in 2013."
However, blue light affects people of all ages, so essentially everyone is at risk. Therefore, the awareness around taking care of your vision needs to start sooner rather than later in life.
Types of Vision Problems
Americans aged 55+ will go from 60 million to 108 million by the year 2030. This rise in the senior citizen population also highlights an increasing concern in the incidence of eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataract, AMD, diabetic retinopathy and more.
As you age, your risk of developing an eye condition increases. The most common eye conditions include:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
A progressive eye disease that damages the retina of the eye, leading to distorted vision, and causes difficulty in reading, facial recognition, and the ability to perform simple tasks. AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness in the developed world.
A serious eye condition that causes the optic nerve of the eye to degenerate. The optic nerve is responsible for transferring visual data from the eyes to the brain. If left untreated glaucoma can lead to poor vision, loss of vision and even blindness.
Cataracts are the clouding of the lens of the eye. They can cause blurry vision and poor night vision. Cataracts mainly develop due to age and are the leading cause of age-related vision impairment worldwide.
Dry eye syndrome
When the eyes do not make sufficient tears it can lead to inflammation, redness, itchiness, and discomfort. Dry eyes may also be caused by age-related oxidative stress and the prolonged use of digital devices.
Linked with diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is caused due to high blood glucose levels which harm the delicate blood vessels in the retina, leading to impaired vision and loss of vision.
Even though your risk of developing the above eye conditions is dependent on your age, and genes, your diet and lifestyle also play a major role.
So just as you turn to supplements, dietary and lifestyle changes for joint, bone and heart health, implementing the same preventative measures for vision health is imperative to maintaining and supporting healthy eyes.
Benefits of Nutrients and Vitamins for Eye Health
With the rise of an aging population comes the risk of increasing vision problems. The main basis of these problems is high levels of inflammation and oxidation. Research shows that "dietary antioxidants and anti-inflammatories may provide benefit in decreasing the risk of age-related eye disease."
Research has shown that more attention needs to be given to curb the progression of eye conditions such as AMD, glaucoma, cataract, and diabetic retinopathy and to take measures to actually prevent the damage that may lead to these diseases in the first place.
"Nutritional intervention" is now being recognized as a way to combat and prevent eye diseases. Research shows that since the eye is vulnerable to oxidative damage, nutrients and vitamins for eye health that have antioxidant properties may reduce the risk for eye disease.
Studies have shown that "proper nutrition, possibly including use of antioxidant supplements for the nutritionally impoverished, along with healthy life styles may provide the least costly and most practical" means in delaying age-related cataract (ARC) and maculopathy (ARM), which are the two leading causes of blindness around the world.
Nutrients, vitamins, and minerals with antioxidant functions such as carotenoids (astaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin), vitamins A, E and C, and anti-inflammatories such as omega-3 fatty acids can potentially help to mitigate the risk for age-related eye diseases.
Top Nutrients and Vitamins for Eye Health
Eyes are complex organs and in order to maintain their proper functioning, they require many different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Common eye conditions, such as the ones mentioned above are all known to adversely affect your eyes, and studies have shown that attaining the right nutrients may have a positive influence on all of them.
For example, in an Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) sponsored by the federal government, the National Eye Institute discovered that supplementing with vitamins C (ascorbic acid) & Vitamin E, zinc, copper and beta-carotene (vitamin A) at levels above the recommended daily dose can help to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 25%.
Below we'll discover the different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that play a major role in supporting eye health:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Eye Health
A type of polyunsaturated fat, omega 3 fatty acids are important to the development of our brain and organs and assist in the smooth running of cellular function. The cellular membranes of the retina actually contain a high amount of DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), which is a specific type of omega-3 fat.
Since DHA is found in large amounts in the retina, its "neuroprotective mechanisms" may support eye function and a deficiency in DHA could cause vision impairment.
Omega-3 fats are also known to provide relief from dry eye syndrome by aiding the eyes to make more tears. Another study showed that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids can also help to prevent eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.
Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
Since omega-3s are not produced by the body they need to be taken externally in the form of food or supplements.
The most common ways to find omega-3's are to consume oily fish which have oil in their tissues and gut. These fish include salmon, trout, tuna, herring, sardines, and mackerel.
Omega-3s can also be found in nuts such as walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, and peanuts, in seeds such as flax seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds, and in legumes such as lentils. Egg yolks, canola oil, and olive oil are also an easily available source of omega-3s.
To get omega-3s in therapeutic doses it is recommended to consume a high-quality fish oil supplement or a flaxseed oil supplement.
Krill oil is also a valuable source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Derived from small crustaceans known as Antarctic krill, krill oil offers incredible health benefits and certain studies suggest it may even be more easily absorbed by the body than fish oil.
Krill oil has a different fatty acid chemical structure than fish oil, which may make it more bioavailable as per a 2015 research study. Participants who took either krill oil or fish oil showed that after 3 days, the blood concentrations of both EPA and DHA were higher in those who took krill oil.
An added benefit is that krill oil naturally contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid giving the oil a reddish color. Astaxanthin is known to protect and support eye health especially from degenerative eye diseases such as AMD.
GoodLifeProvision offers naturally harvested Pure Antarctic Krill Oil that is mercury-free, cold pressed on board the vessel as it is harvested and is naturally rich in antioxidants that help to restore skin, eye, and joint health, and help support the brain and memory.
Gamma-Linolenic Acid for Eye Health
Another type of essential fatty acid is Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is an omega-6 fatty acid known to have incredible anti-inflammatory and protective benefits.
GLA is also not produced naturally by the body so needs to be consumed from external sources.
Studies show that GLA is excellent for boosting immunity, fighting inflammation and disease. It is also great for preventing hair fall, strong nails and promoting healthy skin.
When it comes to eye health, over the last decade GLA has shown promising results in supporting dry eye therapy.
Sources of Gamma-Linolenic Acid:
Natural sources of GLA include evening primrose oil, hemp oil, starflower oil, borage oil, pumpkin seed oil, and black currant oil.
Pumpkin seed oil contains over 50% linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid), making it an excellent natural source of GLA.
Spirulina, a blue-green algae considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, contains a high amount of GLA and is excellent for fighting inflammation, boosting the immune system and promoting healthy eyes, hair, nails, and skin.
At GoodlifeProvision we've encapsulated your daily dose of fresh organic spirulina powder into an easy to swallow vegetarian capsule — without the unpleasant taste and staining of the powdered form.
Black currant oil is also an excellent natural source of omega-6 fatty acids, and one of the chief plant-based sources of GLA. It is also excellent for combating dry eye, reducing visual fatigue and glaucoma.
Studies have shown that "supplementation with gamma-linolenic acid (black currant seed oil) and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids improved ocular irritation symptoms, maintained corneal surface smoothness, and inhibited conjunctival dendritic cell maturation," in thirty-eight postmenopausal female participants with "moderate to severe dry eye."
Check out GoodLifeProvision's premium quality black currant seed oil, with 140mg high-GLA formula, which is extracted using a non-toxic hexane method and is a 100% pure natural formula containing no GMOs.
Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene for Eye Health
Vitamin A is important for supporting the cornea, which is essentially the surface of the eye. This vitamin is crucial for healthy vision as it is responsible for forming rhodopsin, a protein that aids in seeing properly in low-light conditions.
Deficiency in vitamin A is rare in the developed world but can lead to a progressive eye condition called xerophthalmia, which causes night blindness and can lead to complete vision loss.
A 2005 study showed that "a high dietary intake of beta carotene, vitamins C and E, and zinc was associated with a substantially reduced risk of AMD in elderly persons."
Sources of Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene:
Vitamin A1, or retinol, can only be derived from animal-based sources such as beef and lamb liver, cod liver oil, oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, butter, egg yolks, and cheese.
If you're looking for plant-based sources, your body will need to produce vitamin A from carotenoids (beta-carotene and alpha-carotene) found in certain fruits and vegetables.
Known as provitamin A, the most effective of these carotenoids (antioxidant-rich plant compounds), is beta-carotene which is found in high concentrations in carrots (gives them their orange color), sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, red and yellow bell peppers and in dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, and collard greens.
The body then converts beta-carotene to a usable form of vitamin A, essential for supporting visual health.
While high dosages of vitamin A can be toxic, supplementing with beta-carotene, or provitamin A, has "never been found to cause vitamin A toxicity" because down-regulation of beta-carotene occurs in the body "as soon as the vitamin A supply is sufficient."
Increasing the recommended daily dose of beta-carotene along with vitamins C, E, zinc, and copper have shown to decrease the risk of AMD (age-related macular degeneration) by 25%.
GoodlifeProvision's natural beta-carotene supplements may help delay the development of many eye diseases while being the best way to get vitamin A into your body at completely safe, non-toxic levels. Enhanced with organic extra virgin olive oil to help maximize absorption!
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) for Eye Health
Vitamin B1 or thiamine helps the body to convert food into energy and has shown promise in decreasing the risk of cataracts.
One study out of Sydney, Australia took eye lens photographs of 2,900 participants aged 49-97 years and discovered that thiamine can reduce cataract risk by 40%. The study concluded that "the nucleus of the lens is particularly sensitive to nutrient deficiencies. Protein, vitamin A, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin protected against nuclear cataract in this study."
Thiamine has also shown promise as being a potential nutrient to fight the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Research showed that supplementing with 100mg of thiamine 3x a day decreased the concentration of albumin (an indicator of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetes) in the urine.
Sources of Vitamin B1 or Thiamine:
Thiamine can be obtained from beef liver, cooked lentils, and black beans, asparagus, nuts, seeds, fish and cereals fortified with vitamin B1.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) for Eye Health
Riboflavin or vitamin B2 is another crucial vitamin for eye health. A powerful antioxidant, riboflavin protects the cells in the eyes by reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Sources of Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin:
Good sources of riboflavin or vitamin B2 include liver, milk, eggs, oats, rice, yogurt, and cereals fortifies with vitamin B2.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) for Eye Health
Niacin or vitamin B3 helps to convert food into energy in the body. When it comes to eye health, niacin has shown promise in reducing the risk of developing glaucoma, a condition that causes harm to the eye's optic nerve.
A 2017 animal study supported the "therapeutic use of vitamin B3 in glaucoma and potentially other age-related neurodegenerations," as it showed potential in possibly preventing glaucoma and as an intervention therapy.
Supplementing with niacin should be done with caution as research has shown that in high doses niacin can actually cause blurry vision and other eye issues.
Sources of Vitamin B3 or Niacin:
Niacin can be found in chicken, beef, fish, eggs, milk, wheat, legumes, mushrooms and peanuts.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) for Eye Health
Biotin or vitamin B7 helps the body to metabolize or break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is important for maintaining body functions and for strong nails, thick hair and protecting against nerve damage.
In high doses, biotin has shown promising results in producing myelin, a protective layer that covers the fibers of nerves in the eyes, spinal cord, and brain, making it an excellent supplement for the treatment of multiple sclerosis where this protective sheath is damaged or destroyed.
Since biotin is water soluble it is safe even in higher doses as it is flushed out and not retained by the body.
Sources of Vitamin B7 or Biotin:
Biotin is naturally produced by bacteria that inhabit the gut. It is also found in food such as milk, bananas, liver, cheese, nuts, egg yolk, leafy greens, legumes, and cauliflower. It is also available in a 100% pure and natural biotin supplement formula.
Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 for Eye Health
Studies around different B vitamins such as vitamins B6, B9 and B12 have shown that when combined they can decrease levels of a protein called homocysteine in the body that can attribute to inflammation and even increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration in the eyes.
In a 2009 study, women who were given supplements of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) along with vitamins B9 (folic acid) and B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride) demonstrated a decreased risk of developing AMD by 34%. The study concluded that "daily supplementation with folic acid, pyridoxine, and cyanocobalamin may reduce the risk of AMD."
Sources of Vitamins B6, B9, and B12:
Vitamin B6 — chicken, turkey, fish, bread, eggs, soya beans, milk, peanuts, cereals fortified with vitamin B6
Vitamin B9 — liver, chickpeas, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, cereals fortified with vitamin B9
Vitamin B12 — meat, salmon, eggs, milk, cheese, cereals fortified with vitamin B12
Vitamin C for Eye Health
You may associate vitamin C with immune boosting benefits, but it can actually do wonders for your eye health as well. The eyes house hundreds of delicate capillaries (hair-thin branching blood vessels), that rely on vitamin C to function properly.
Similar to vitamin E, vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant that can help protect eye cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Taken with other nutrients, a daily dose of 500mg of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helped to slow down the progression of AMD (age-related macular degeneration) in the eyes by 25%.
Additionally, vitamin C is also important to produce collagen, a required protein that gives structure to the cornea (the clear surface of the eye) and sclera (the white part of the eye).
Research has shown that long-term supplementation with vitamin C can potentially reduce the risk of cataracts in the eyes by 45%.
Also, the aqueous humor (fluid on the outermost layer of the eye) contains high concentrations of vitamin C, and these levels can be affected by consuming vitamin C rich foods or consuming supplements.
Sources of Vitamin C:
The most popular sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, limes, and lemons. Other sources include leafy greens such as spinach, mustard greens and kale, broccoli, tomatoes, kiwi, strawberries and bell peppers.
You might be surprised to know that black currant seed oil contains 4 times the quantity of vitamin C as oranges! Along with being an excellent vitamin for eye health, Vitamin C is critical for the absorption of iron, fighting infections, supporting joint health and promoting anti-aging.
Vitamin E for Eye Health
Free radicals are harmful byproducts of oxygen metabolism that can cause significant damage to the body's cells and tissues in what is known as "oxidative stress." A lot of eye diseases are attributed to oxidative stress, which basically means that there isn't a proper balance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body.
A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E protects your cells, including the cells in your eyes from the damaging effects of free radicals. Being fat-soluble it protects fatty acids from oxidation, and since the retina of the eye has high amounts of fatty acids, taking the right amount of vitamin E is essential for vision health.
In a 7-year study, 3600+ participants with age-related macular degeneration who took 400IU of vitamin E daily combined with a few other nutrients were able to reduce their risk of age-related eye diseases progressing by 25%.
Studies have also shown that consuming high amounts of vitamin E may decrease the risk of age-related cataracts.
Sources of Vitamin E:
Foods rich in vitamin E include fish such as salmon and trout, oils such as wheat germ oil, almond oil and flaxseed oil, nuts such as almonds and peanuts, avocados, dried apricots, and sunflower seeds.
A supplement such as black currant seed oil also has a significant concentration of vitamin E making it a potent antioxidant as it protects the body and eye cells from free radical damage.
Zinc for Eye Health
Zinc plays an integral role in supporting ocular function and is present in high concentrations in the retina and the choroid (vascular layer containing connective tissues and blood vessels) of the eye. All the nerve cells in the eye rely on zinc to function, and zinc also aids in the production of melanin, a protective pigment that gives the eye its color.
Known as the "helper molecule," zinc assists in the transfer of Vitamin A in the liver to the retina of the eye. A deficiency in zinc has been linked to poor vision, cataracts and decreased night vision.
A landmark study showed that the progression of advanced age-related macular degeneration can be slowed down by "25 percent and visual acuity loss by 19 percent by taking 40-80 mg/day of zinc" as well as other antioxidants.
Another study documented that older adults with AMD were able to slow down the progression of the disease and maintain visual acuity with zinc supplements, than those who received a placebo.
Sources of zinc:
Zinc can be found in meat, shellfish, lentils, beans, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, peanuts, milk, cheese, eggs, wheat, and dark chocolate.
Pumpkin seed oil supplements are an excellent source of zinc. Researchers have documented that 100 grams of pumpkin seeds contain 7.99mg of zinc. According to the NIH, adequate daily intake of zinc is at 11mg for men and 8 mg for women.
GoodLifeProVision's 100% natural pumpkin seed oil at 1 soft gel capsule gives you 1000mg (100grams) of pure pumpkin seed oil goodness daily, and contains zinc along with a host of essential nutrients!
Lutein and Zeaxanthin for Eye Health
These two antioxidants are powerful on their own but when combined they can really work wonders for eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both potent carotenoids present in the retina and macula (center of the retina) in the eye.
Lutein is popularly known as the "eye vitamin" as it helps to protect the macula by filtering out damaging blue light. Zeaxanthin is important for general eye health and when combined with lutein is highly effective in supporting vision health.
Research has shown that both lutein and zeaxanthin can help to protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, eye strain and fatigue and even help prevent loss of vision and blindness.
Furthermore, studies have shown that the quantity of both these carotenoids in the retina is directly dependent upon the amount that is consumed. One study concluded that supplementation with both these antioxidants improved macular pigment optical density (MPOD) "both in AMD patients and healthy subjects with a dose-response relationship."
Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin:
Both of these amazing antioxidants can be found in the foods you eat and usually even occur together. Some of the best sources include cooked spinach and kale, peas, corn, pistachios, broccoli, avocados, colored bell peppers, kiwi, grapes and egg yolks.
According to one study, apart from just consuming leafy greens, "fruits and vegetables of various colours can be consumed to increase dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin."
Although both these compounds can be derived from the food you eat, most people just don't get the therapeutic doses required from food. Supplementing with these nutrients in the form of daily capsules has shown to improve vision especially when it comes to progressive diseases like AMD and cataracts.
For example, pumpkin seed oil is an incredible supplement, rich in zeaxanthin, and aids in protecting the retina. A 2003 study stated that zeaxanthin "may be far more important in preventing or stabilizing macular degeneration than previously realized."
Spirulina supplements also contain high amounts of zeaxanthin. A 2012 study demonstrated that "spirulina can serve as a rich source of dietary zeaxanthin in humans," and "may reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration."
Therefore, adding supplements to your diet is a great way to get the therapeutic dose of lutein and zeaxanthin you need, that you may not be getting from your food.
Astaxanthin for Eye Health
A highly potent carotenoid, astaxanthin is an amazing antioxidant that helps to fight off free radicals and maintain oxidative balance in the body. Astaxanthin's unique chemical structure makes it highly effective against ROS (reactive oxygen species). If ROS values outnumber antioxidant benefits it can lead to oxidative stress harming the body's cells and leading to inflammation and disease.
Astaxanthin's ability to trap ROS and neutralize it is 6000 times more powerful than Vitamin C and 3x more powerful than lutein.
When it comes to eye health, research has shown that astaxanthin is highly protective and can prevent and reduce the risk of AMD, cataracts, blurred vision, glaucoma, and eye strain.
Dr. James McDonnell, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Loyola University Health System in Illinois recommends that when combined with a healthy diet, astaxanthin is a "supernutrient" that" protects eyes from developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and blindness."
Additional research shows that supplementing with 6mg/day of natural astaxanthin for 30 days can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes, alleviate blurry vision and decrease eye strain.
Sources of Astaxanthin:
Natural sources of astaxanthin include salmon, shrimp, krill and lobster (it's the pigment that gives them their natural reddish-pink color), but it's near to impossible to get the therapeutic dose of this nutrient only from food.
The best natural source of astaxanthin by far is Haematococcus Pluvialis microalgae which are proven to be 50x stronger than the synthetic variety in singlet oxygen quenching and 20x more powerful in eradicating free radicals.
GoodLifeProvision's antioxidant-rich natural astaxanthin supplements are the real deal! Produced in the USA using Haematococcus Pluvialis Microalgae these supplements help to restore eye health, improve joint health, maintain skin and hair, aid in muscle recovery and a lot more!
Lycopene for Eye Health
Along with other carotenoids such as astaxanthin, beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, lycopene is a potent antioxidant that also belongs to the carotenoid family and is attributed to giving fruits and vegetables their bright red color.
It is most commonly found in the US diet in tomato-based products.
Lycopene has strong antioxidant properties and has shown that it can help the body combat free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.
There have been a few studies showing that lycopene may delay cataract formation and even decrease the risk of AMD, the leading cause of vision loss as you age.
A 2003 study concluded that lycopene protects against the development of cataracts and may be used as a "therapy against cataracts."
Sources of Lycopene:
The most easily available form of lycopene is tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit.
Lycopene supplements may help to reduce your risk of AMD and cataracts, and also support immunity, cardiovascular and prostate health, healthy skin, and hair, and prevent aging.
Water for Eye Health
That's right! We're including plain old drinking water in this list as many people don't realize how important and vital staying hydrated is to eye health.
Drinking enough water every day is essential to prevent dehydration. Dehydration is when more water exits the body than is ingested. When this happens it leaves the body to not have enough fluid to function properly. This affects all the organs in the body, including the eyes.
In the body's attempt to conserve water, you may experience symptoms like decreased urine, dry mouth, fatigue, muscular cramps and lack of tears. When fewer tears are produced it leads to dry eye, eye fatigue and strain and vision issues.
Therefore, to keep your body and your eyes healthy, eat a nutrient-rich diet, maintain a healthy lifestyle, invest in antioxidant-rich supplements and remember to stay hydrated!
- Eyes are complex organs and in order to maintain their proper functioning, they require many different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
- As you age, the risk of developing an eye condition increases so the need for supplementing with nutrients and vitamins for eye health also increases
- Just as you turn to supplements, dietary and lifestyle changes for joint, bone and heart health, implementing the same proactive measures for vision health is as important
- Nutrients, vitamins, and minerals with antioxidant functions such as vitamins A, E and C, and anti-inflammatories such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can potentially help to mitigate the risk for age-related eye diseases
- Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for brain and organ development and can provide relief from dry eyes. Antarctic krill oil provides an excellent bioavailable form of omega-3s.
- Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and is non-toxic even in large doses
- Vitamin C is essential for eye health, joint health, immunity and promoting anti-aging. Black currant seed oil contains 4x the amount of vitamin C as oranges!
- Carotenoids like astaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene are powerful antioxidants that can help to combat free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to cells, preventing inflammation and disease