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Vitamin rich diet for the eyes

Beyond carrots, many nutrients are involved in the health of our eyes. Certain diseases can affect our eyesight: cataracts, macular degeneration, etc. Diet has a role in the development, or not, of these eye diseases. In case of proven degeneration, family history or simply as a preventive measure, it is recommended to adopt a diet rich in vitamins for the eyes.

The main points of the vitamin-rich diet for the eyes :
  • Consume lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Fill up on vitamins C, E and A
  • Include beta-carotene in your diet
  • Choose foods rich in zinc
  • Increase your intake of Omega-3

Benefits of the vitamin-rich diet for the eyes

The diet rich in vitamins for the eyes has many benefits, it allows to :
  • Prevent the risk of eye diseases in case of history or heredity
  • To slow down the progression of eye diseases
  • Preserve the sight and the health of the eye
  • To have a good supply of vitamins and minerals

When to adopt the vitamin-rich diet for eyesight?

This sheet is specifically for people who already have macular degeneration or cataracts, who have a family history of these diseases, who are 40 years old or older, who suffer from type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, factors for which studies have shown positive effects of diet.

A balanced daily diet is a key factor for eye health. The first thing to do is to make sure you eat a variety of foods from the four food groups: vegetables and fruit, whole grains, dairy products and alternatives, and meat and alternatives. Numerous scientific studies have shown that certain nutrients, especially those with antioxidant properties, are beneficial to visual health.

Which vitamins for tired eyes? Our dietary recommendations

In order to have good eyesight and preserve eye health, it is recommended to eat a diet rich in certain nutrients. The following recommendations will help you to prevent the occurrence of eye diseases or to slow down their progression if necessary.

What to eat to have good eyesight?

To maintain good eyesight, it is recommended to eat foods that are naturally rich in micronutrients. It is recommended, for example, to eat a lot of vegetables to benefit from their richness in antioxidants, pigments and vitamins. Choosing the right fats and covering the needs of zinc and vitamin D could also prevent the degeneration of visual acuity.

Lutein and zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are pigments with antioxidant properties that give foods their color. According to several studies, these pigments have a potential role in preventing and slowing down the progression of certain eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Indeed, they would have the capacity to neutralize the free radicals which can damage the retina, in addition to filtering the blue light coming from the UV rays which attack the photoreceptors of the eye. There is no nutritional reference for these pigments. It is therefore recommended to consume daily foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin such as green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin A and beta-carotene
Vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of the retina. Indeed, in the retina, vitamin A is transformed into substances (rhodopsin and photopsin) that play a key role in the transformation of light into nerve impulses that send the visual signal to the brain. In addition, vitamin A is involved in the adaptation of the eye to darkness. Moreover, beta-carotene is a carotenoid that has the capacity to transform into vitamin A in the human body. Some studies have shown that a diet rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene can reduce the risk of macular degeneration. It is therefore recommended to include a wide variety of foods rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene daily. The main sources are orange vegetables.

Vitamins C and E for tired eyes
Vitamin C is also a vitamin with antioxidant properties. In addition, it is necessary for the proper functioning of retinal cells. Scientific studies indicate that vitamin C reduces the risk of developing cataracts and also slows the progression of macular degeneration and loss of visual acuity.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It would have a role in the protection of the cells of the eyes against the damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals negatively affect healthy tissue. It slows down the natural oxidation process of the body. In addition, vitamin E facilitates the absorption of vitamin A.

Vitamin D for the eyes
Recent studies indicate that people with a vitamin D deficiency have a 2.6 times greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. It is therefore recommended to consume foods rich in vitamin D on a daily basis to meet the body's needs and maintain good eye health.

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in transporting vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, a protective pigment for the eyes. In addition, zinc is present in good concentration in the eye, especially in the retina and the choroid, the layer of vascular tissue under the retina.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is found in high concentrations in the retina, suggesting that it plays an important functional role. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can be converted to DHA. Low levels of omega-3 have been associated with eye diseases including macular degeneration. In addition, dry eye syndrome has also been linked to omega-3 deficiency in some studies. Numerous other studies encourage an increase in omega-3 consumption in order to reduce the risk of macular degeneration. It is therefore recommended to consume daily sources of EPA and DHA.

Other recommended foods :
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Antioxidants
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Good hydration
  • Offal and lean proteins

Are there foods that are bad for my eyesight?

From a scientific point of view, there are no foods that are bad for your eyesight. In the sense that no single food can cause a degeneration of visual acuity.

However, an excess of certain foods often implies a lower consumption of vegetables and foods rich in nutrients and vitamins that are good for the health of the eyes. This is the case, for example, with saturated fats, processed, refined and sugary foods. Alcohol can also, in excess, disrupt the proper assimilation of the vitamins mentioned above.

Other foods not recommended :
  • Processed foods
  • Prepared meals
  • Refined products
  • Sugar and sweetened products
  • Red meat and deli meats
  • Fast food
  • Fried food, breading
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco

Practical advice for everyday life

  • Eat fish 2 to 3 times a week
  • Add a drizzle of linseed or rapeseed oil to salads, soups and vegetable dishes after cooking
  • Always fill half your plate with vegetables
  • If they are organic, do not remove the skin of the vegetables, as this is where most of the vitamins are found
  • Choose seasonal and colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Include raw vegetables in your diet
  • As a snack, think about fresh fruit and nuts
  • Choose dairy products enriched with vitamin D

Should I take food supplements to improve my eyesight?

A balanced and varied diet should be able to cover the body's needs in nutrients, vitamins and essential minerals. However, given the difficulty some people have in covering their needs in certain nutrients, food supplements can be used to improve eyesight. This is the case with EPA and DHA, vitamin D or zinc supplements for example.

Ask your dietician for advice before taking a food supplement.

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