Everyone wants a crystal clear eyesight and healthy eyes. We completely depend on our vision for normal functioning, that the thought of diminishing vision is often terrifying. To make sure that you keep your eyes healthy, as you age. It’s important to know the best vitamins for the eyes.
Vitamins are organic compounds that are required by the body in adequate amounts. An organic compound is said to be a vitamin when the body cannot synthesize that particular compound, but that compound is necessary for normal body functions.
Hence, the best way to get vitamins is to consume them in your diet. Supplementation of vitamins may be required in deficiency states, but not for healthy individuals.
Currently, 13 recognized vitamins are essential for the human body.
Vitamins perform a diverse range of functions. They can regulate mineral metabolism, hormone production, cell growth regulation, and also some of them are antioxidants.
Vision care: The best vitamins for the eyes
It is estimated that 75% of people notice a change in their visual acuity by the age of 50. Taking the best vitamins for the eyes is a good preventative measure.
The best vitamins for the eyes include:
- Vitamin A
You might have been told that eating carrots are important for good eyesight. But what about carrots that make it so good for the eyes?
Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A, which helps to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Carrots also contain beta-carotene and rhodopsin.
Rhodopsin is a pigment found in the eyes, that is responsible for night vision. Without this pigment, you wouldn’t be able to see clearly at night, or in low-light situations.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and is found in foods like—liver, leafy vegetables, oranges, pumpkins, carrots, yellow fruits, fish, soy milk, and cow milk.
Vitamin A deficiency can result in night blindness, hyperkeratosis (thickening of the skin), and keratomalacia (an eye disorder that affects the cornea).
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a powerful antioxidant and an essential nutrient. The human body does not naturally synthesize vitamin C, and so must be supplemented in the diet.
Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress, contributes to various enzymatic reactions, and improves metabolic functions.
In the eyes, vitamin C helps to prevent cataracts and maintain ocular blood vessels, making it one of the best vitamins for the eyes.
Citrus fruits, spinach, tomatoes, red peppers, potatoes, and broccoli are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency is rare in modern times and is characterized by bleeding gums (scurvy).
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is commonly associated with skin and hair health, and also it can be one of the best vitamins for the eyes. When combined with other antioxidants, vitamin E can help slow down age-related ocular damage.
Macular degeneration and cataracts have been linked to oxidative stress, so antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E help to reduce the effects of oxidation.
Vitamin E deficiency is very rare since it is found in abundant quantities in common foods like—nuts (peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc.), seeds (sunflower seeds), apricots, and seed oils like sunflower oil.
Including the best vitamins for the eyes in your diet
Before you resort to taking supplements of the best vitamins for the eyes, try to get your vitamin requirements from whole foods.
Include meals with carrots, leafy green vegetables, pumpkin, broccoli and other healthy vegetables in your diet. Cook your food in vitamin E-rich oils like safflower oil.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits especially citrus fruits, eat nuts and seeds like almonds and sunflower seeds, as snacks.
Your diet should also include other nutrients that are good for your eyes like—zinc, lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. Zinc, like vitamin A, helps to treat and prevent night blindness and is found in dark meat like turkey, beef, and oysters. It also helps in the production of melanin which is an important pigment.
Lutein is found in leafy green vegetables like—spinach, kale, and mustard greens. It is an integral part of the retina, and so is essential for good eyesight. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like cod and tuna and promote retinal development and maintenance.
Selenium is a mineral that reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration, especially when combined with vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants. Selenium can be obtained from foods like shrimp, crabs, brown rice, and Brazil nuts.
Supplementation of the best vitamins for the eyes
If you do require supplementation of the best vitamins for the eyes, it would be better to take multivitamin combinations instead of buying each vitamin individually.
Check the expiration date and the serving size before consuming the supplements. Some people may find that multivitamin capsules are easier to tolerate than tablets. Make sure to check the filler ingredients in the multivitamin supplements, and avoid fillers like wheat, corn, or dairy since this may cause gastric irritation or allergic reactions.
Vitamins are an important part of maintaining good health. Make sure you either consume the best vitamins for the eyes for proper eye health.