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Food for sight

We have all grown up hearing “Make sure you eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes” but what our parents forgot to mention, was there were a lot of other nutrients that are essential for our eyesight.

Research suggests that antioxidants and other important nutrients may reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration. Specific antioxidants can have additional benefits as well; for example, vitamin A protects against blindness, and vitamin C may play a role in preventing or alleviating glaucoma.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids appear to help the eye in a variety of ways, from alleviating symptoms of dry eye syndrome to guarding against macular damage.

The following lists all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients shown to be essential for good vision and may protect your eyes from sight-robbing conditions and diseases.

  • Lutein & Zeaxanthin (found in corn, spinach, cabbage, oranges, celery and red peppers)
    Lutein and zeaxanthin are important nutrients found in green leafy vegetables, as well as other foods, such as eggs. Many studies show that lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Vitamin C (found in fresh fruit and vegetables)
    Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables. Scientific evidence suggests vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts. Also, when taken in combination with other essential nutrients, it can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.
  • Vitamin E (found in seeds and fruits)
    Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant found in nuts, fortified cereals, and sweet potatoes. Research indicates it protects cells in the eyes from unstable molecules called free radicals, which break down healthy tissue.
  • Essential fatty acids (found in avocados and eggs)
    Fats are a necessary part of the human diet. They maintain the integrity of the nervous system, fuel cells and boost the immune system. Research shows omega-3 fatty acids are important for proper visual development and retinal function.
  • Zinc (found in nuts, beans, seafood and meat)
    Zinc is an essential trace mineral or “helper molecule.” It plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, mostly in the retina and choroid, the vascular tissue layer lying under the retina.

Remember there is no substitute for the quality of life good vision offers.

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