Conscious efforts need to be made to maintain proper eye health. Consumption of certain vitamins for eye health keeps your health in good shape and your eyesight in order.
However, failing to maintain a proper eye care routine can result in various eye diseases in the long term, including age-related macular degeneration, developing cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and other conditions.
To counter that, maintaining a balanced diet rich with certain vitamins for eye health can strongly contribute towards keeping your eyes safe from age-related ailments. Learn more about vitamins that boost eye health as you read through this article.
We have put together a list of the best vitamins for eye health, details of what they help with, and the foods rich in these vitamins.
Research suggests that oxidative stress is the root cause of various eye-related diseases. The term oxidative stress refers to an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body.
Vitamin E is rich in antioxidants, which actively help in protecting your eye and other cells from free radicals, which can damage them. Although more research is needed to prove this fully, certain opinions suggest that Vitamin E-rich nutrients reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
Rich sources of vitamin E include most green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds like sunflower seeds, salmon, etc. Include these ingredients in your diet if you want to grow vitamin E values in your system.
Vitamin A is also among the important vitamins needed to keep you away from eye disease. It plays two key roles, the first being its contribution to helping your eye maintain a clear cornea: the eye's outermost covering, while also contributing towards rhodopsin in your system: a protein present in the eyes that allows better vision in low light conditions.
Severe Vitamin A deficiency can lead to an eye disease called Xerophthalmia, progressively leading to blindness. It starts with night blindness, and as the cornea softens due to Vitamin A deficiency, complete blindness is possible. Other diseases, such as age-related cataracts, are also known to be countered by consuming Vitamin A-rich nutrients.
Vitamins can be consumed through supplements or food sources naturally rich in certain vitamins or vitamins. The latter is, unarguably, a better option. Beta Carotene is a carotenoid: a form of plant pigment that largely contributes to the growth of Vitamin A in our bodies, as it naturally occurs in various plants and vegetables we frequently consume. Sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and other vegetables are good sources of Vitamin A intake.
Similar to Vitamin A, Vitamin C has strong antioxidants, which serve the similar purpose of protecting the eyes from free radicals. These free radicals can cause oxidative damage, and Vitamin C helps protect the body from this damage. Unfortunately, this can often lead to the development of both cortical and nuclear cataracts.
Cortical cataracts essentially occur around the edges of the eye lenses, while nuclear-developing cataracts are concentrated deep towards the core. Studies over long periods have indicated that regular Vitamin C consumption helps reduce cataract symptoms.
Certain supplements can also be consumed to gain a certain vitamin. AREDS is one such supplement, which is formed using Vitamin C and other nutrients. For example, age-related macular degeneration, commonly known as AMD, is a common eye disease. Research suggests that regular consumption of AREDS can cut down the progression of age-related macular degeneration to a significant extent.
Vitamin C also contributes to your overall eye structure as it is needed to produce collagen, a protein that structures your eyes. It also protects the eye against UV light. Citrus fruits are an easily accessible, rich source of Vitamin C. It can also be obtained from broccoli, bell peppers, and other foods.
B Vitamins are numerous, each having its unique properties, benefits, and food sources they naturally exist in. Out of these various B vitamins, B6. B9 and B12 are the most important vitamins concerning eye health.
These vitamins reduce levels of Homocysteine, a chemical in the body that can cause inflammation and increase the odds of AMD. However, research on this is currently in progress and cannot be taken on absolute authority.
We will also discuss some of the other B Vitamins in detail.
Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamine, plays the vital role of converting food into energy in your body, assisting cells to work at the best of their functionalities. In addition to its basic functionalities in your system, studies have also indicated that Vitamin B1 can reduce the risk of an individual getting cataracts.
Certain studies have also proposed the administration of Vitamin B1 to treat diabetic retinopathy at its earlier stages.
You can find a few sources of naturally occurring Vitamin B1 at the end of the detail about B vitamins.
Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin, has antioxidant properties like Vitamins A and C. It contributes to reducing oxidative stress levels in your body. Researchers have strongly affiliated Vitamin B2 to contribute towards the prevention of cataracts. Its deficiency is also associated with cataracts forming in the eye.
Try integrating this powerful antioxidant into your diet to prevent age-related cataracts, as they can cause blurry vision when they become too dense. Please read to the end of our B Vitamins list to learn about sources of B vitamins.
We will also be exploring a few details about Vitamin B3: niacin. This vitamin's key role is similar to that of Vitamin B1: providing your system energy through the food, you consume.
Although it currently needs more research, initial observations indicate that vitamin b3 can help prevent glaucoma, which causes damage to the eye's optic nerve. Like all the nutrients mentioned earlier, consuming Vitamin B3 through natural sources with a high concentration is completely safe. However, consuming excessive amounts of it in your daily supplement can have certain side effects, such as macular degeneration or blurriness in vision.
Here are a few ways to get certain B vitamins in your system.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Yoghurt, Pork, Fish, etc.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Mushrooms, Almonds, Beef, etc.
Vitamin B3 (niacin): Chicken, Peanuts, Rice, etc.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Salmon, chickpeas, etc.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid): Beans, Sunflower Seeds, Eggs, etc.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): Fish, Poultry, Red Meat, etc.
If you happen to be consuming a vegetarian diet only, and can not consume animal products despite needing the vitamins they offer, consider using supplements that include them instead.
The cell membranes of your retina are highly concentrated with certain types of Omega 3 fatty acids. Inherently, these acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, play a key role in the structuring and making of your eye cells.
Various scientific references have indicated that Omega 3 fatty acids can contribute towards controlling diabetic retinopathy and other diseases such as dry eye disease. For example, itchiness and dryness in the eye can be associated with dry eye disease.
Ways of incorporating these specific vitamins in your diet include the consumption of oily fish or even fish oil itself. Certain nuts and seeds are also viable alternatives.
Zeaxanthin lutein falls under nutrients classified as plant compounds. They can also be referred to as carotenoids. Existing in the retina and macula regions of the eye, they protect the eye from certain harmful wavelengths of light by filtering them out.
Maintaining diets high in Lutein and zeaxanthin can lower the risk of developing AMD and cataracts. Try incorporating them into your diet or daily supplement routine to avoid these age-related eye diseases in the long run.
Most green vegetables are guaranteed sources of Lutein and zeaxanthin, so start consuming your greens!
If you want to avoid age-related eye diseases such as developing AMD or vision loss, we suggest learning about the Vitamins you should be consuming a bit harder. Then, try incorporating these key nutrients into your regular diet to keep your eye health at the highest levels over long periods.
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