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7 Most Important Vitamins For Eyes

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When you were just a kid, your mom probably told you to make sure you ate your carrots because they're good for your eyes. Is that really just a myth though? Was she only trying to coax you into finishing your dinner? It turns out mom really did know best on this one. Carrots are great for your eyes because they are packed with essential eye vitamins and nutrients.

Fast forward, and I'm going to guess you probably haven't had anyone telling you to make sure you eat all of your carrots for a while now. You may also have started noticing that you have to hold the cereal box at arm's length just to read the label. This is evidence that you may be lacking those essential eye vitamins.

So why are these vitamins so important, and which ones exactly do you need? That's what we are going to go over now, and don't worry, there are other ways to get them than just carrots.

In this article:

  1. How some vitamins impact eye health
  2. Top 7 Vitamins and Nutrients for Optimum Eye Health
  3. Final Thoughts on Vitamins for the Eyes
 

How Some Vitamins Impact Eye Health

A lot of the problems people face concerning their eyes can be traced back to, or triggered by, high levels of oxidation.

Some of these problems might be:

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinopathy

 

These high levels of oxidation can often be caused by high blood sugar levels or high insulin levels. This may be why if you have diabetes, you notice more problems with your eyes. Lifestyle, diet, or age-related factors can play into problems with the eyes as well but sugar is definitely a main concern.

However, these nutrients we are going to go over, act antioxidants. Essentially, they have protective properties that will help fight inflammation, support healthy blood sugar levels, and strengthen the eyes.

Close up of woman with blue eyes | The Most Important Vitamins for the Eyes


 

Top 7 Vitamins and Nutrients for Optimum Eye Health

Trouble seeing, or problems with eyes, may seem like unavoidable annoyances—especially as you age. While it's true that our eyes are more susceptible to damage as we age, eating the right diet and getting plenty of the right vitamins can help you maintain your eye health and even your eyesight for longer than you may think.

Let's get started.
 

1.) Vitamin A

* Vitamin A may help support your eye health if you experience: night blindness, dry eyes, cataracts, and macular degeneration

This is the most important vitamin for your eyes that we will go over today. Without it, you will experience a lot of problems with your eye health.

If you have problems seeing at night or especially if you find it difficult to drive at night because your vision seems more blurry—you need vitamin A. Vitamin A helps you see in the dark and may help reduce or prevent troubles seeing at night.

If you find yourself carrying around a small bottle of eye drops in your pocket or purse, you may also need vitamin A. Without vitamin A, your tear ducts and mucous membranes around the eye dry up giving you dry eyes. People who are vitamin A deficient also seem to be at a higher risk for Without vitamin A, your tear ducts and mucous membranes around the eye dry up giving you dry eyes. People who are vitamin A deficient also seem to be at a higher risk for cataracts or age-related macular degeneration.

It's important to note that if you have a gallbladder or liver problem, you may need more bile salts to help you absorb vitamin A.
 

2.) Vitamin B1

* Vitamin B1 may help support your eye health if you experience: cataracts, retinopathy

Vitamin B1 is an essential vitamin that has many different beneficial effects on the body. However, it's easily depleted if you have diabetes, you eat a high-carb diet, you eat refined foods, or if you take metformin which is an anti-diabetic medication.

B1 is involved in protecting and keeping the outer holdings of your nerves intact. Without B1, you are at a higher risk for cataracts or problems with the retina like retinopathy.If you have diabetes and you have any type of peripheral neuropathy, you may want to try consuming more vitamin B1.

If you catch something like retinopathy in time, taking B1 in a fat-soluble form (benfotiamine) may be especially helpful. This is because benfotiamine will penetrate the fat layers of the eye.
 

3.) Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 may help support your eye health if you experience: Glaucoma

Glaucoma is high pressure in the eye caused by damage to the optic nerves. Some patients describe it as tunnel vision, but glaucoma can also cause total vision loss.

Vitamin B3 is great for glaucoma. If you're wondering how to consume vitamin B3 or any of these B vitamins, nutritional yeast is a fantastic source. If you're not sure what nutritional yeast is, I give an in-depth explanation in *this video—check it out.
 

4.) Vitamin B2

* Vitamin B2 may help support your eye health if you experience: cataracts, macular degeneration

Vitamin B2 is a powerful antioxidant. Something interesting about vitamin B2 is that it's not only an effective eye vitamin but it acts as an antioxidant for the nervous system too.

Vitamin B2 may be effective for decreasing your risk of cataracts or age-related macular degeneration.

Woman doctor with eye vitamins and healthy fruits and vegetables


5.) Vitamin D

* Vitamin D may help support your eye health if you experience: cataracts

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin like vitamin A that helps support heart health, mental health, the immune system, and of course, the eyes.

Vitamin D may provide powerful benefits for the eyes and help reduce the risk of cataracts.

I feel it's also important to point out that vitamin E and vitamin C are both very powerful antioxidants and some people believe they help support healthy eyes. Vitamin C is especially easy to get through your diet. However, there isn't a lot of research on vitamin E or vitamin C for the eyes—especially when compared to other vitamins like vitamin D.
 

6.) Zinc

* Zinc may help support your eye health if you experience: cataracts, macular degeneration

It's possible that over 2 billion people are zinc deficient. Zinc is what's called a trace-mineral, and it's also a powerful antioxidant.

Zinc actually allows the important vitamin A that we went over, to effectively do its job. Without zinc, vitamin A has a harder time creating its functions properly.

People who are kind deficient seem to have an increased risk of one day getting a cataract or age-related macular degeneration.
 

7.) Carotenoids (Lutein, Zeaxanthin)

* Carotenoids (Lutein, Zeaxanthin) may help support your eye health if you experience: macular degeneration

Carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, are not actually vitamins, they're phytonutrients. Phytonutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin, are mainly found in plants and are very beneficial to the entire body. Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in tomatoes or leafy greens like kale.

Zinc actually allows the important vitamin A that we went over, to effectively do its job. Without zinc, vitamin A has a harder time creating its functions properly.

Getting enough lutein and zeaxanthin through your diet may help protect against age-related macular degeneration.

Happy smiling older couple with blue eyes against blue sky background

 

Final Thoughts on Vitamins for the Eyes

It's time to get serious about your eye health so you can prevent future problems and conditions. The best way to make sure you're getting enough of these essential eye vitamins is by including them in your daily diet.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study, which is also referred to as AREDS, was a clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute done in 2001. The AREDS clinical trial found that

those who ate a poor diet

were at a higher risk for age-related macular degeneration.

 

Anti-inflammatory foods, foods that are high in antioxidants, and omega-3 rich foods may have positive and preventative effects against various eye-related disorders.

Eye vitamins are vital when it comes to protecting your vision into old age. Start taking advantage of what these foods have to offer today.

Here is a list of foods that are rich in eye vitamins that you may want to start including in your diet:

  • Carrots and carrot juice (of course carrots)
  • Leafy green veggies
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Citrus fruits
  • Green beans
  • Eggs
  • Berries
  • Red bell peppers
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Wild-caught seafood (omega-3 and high-zinc foods like salmon, mackerel, and tuna)
  • Grass-fed meat
  • Pasture-raised poultry
     

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