The 10 Vitamins and Minerals and Herbs To Help Maintain Your Eye Health
In some cases, it's true, but there are ways to help yourself, so it's less of a problem.
Getting the right type of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals helps you stay healthier and repair the damage. You can let your body be strong and adapt, which means your eyes stay strong and clear-sighted.
Let's take a look at some of these vitamins and minerals now, and where you can easily get these necessary nutrients.
This vitamin most people know. Vitamin A comes from the carrot, and carrots do have the nutrients to help support your eye health.
They contain the nutrients beta-carotene, rhodopsin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all three different versions of Vitamin A. These nutrients help maintain eye health, particularly against oxidative damage around the nerves.
Vitamin A helps reduce dry eyes and damage to the photoreceptors in your eyes that help distinguish light from dark. One component is rhodopsin, a protein in your eyes that allows you to see in low light conditions.
Lutein and zeaxanthin help protect your eyes against blue lights from electronics and may even play a role in your ability to sleep.
The best source of vitamin A is from animal-derived foods. Liver, egg yolks, and dairy products contain these valuable nutrients. You can also get some of the precursors of Vitamin A (which your body then converts to Vitamin A) from dark leafy greens, carrots, and other orange fruits and vegetables.
The B Vitamins
All of the B vitamins help your eyes, as well as the rest of your body. They all act as antioxidants, a critical factor in protecting your eyes and your brain. Your brain particularly benefits from B vitamins, as they help memory and recall.
Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 can help lower levels of homocysteine, a protein that causes inflammation and is a risk factor for macular degeneration and heart disease. Riboflavin is of interest to scientists who are studying it for the prevention of cataracts. It's showing promise, with some significant decreases observed in the research subjects.
Niacin might help reduce glaucoma, however, full human tests have not been conducted.
You can get B vitamins from animal food products, eggs, nuts and seeds, dark leafy vegetables, and fruit.
We can safely say vitamin C helps almost everything in the body. This is especially true in the eyes. As a primary antioxidant, it helps reduce oxidative damage to your nerves and cells.
The highest concentration of vitamin C in the whole body is in the aqueous fluid of our eyes. Light produces high amounts of free radicals and does the most damage to our eyes, but we cannot see without it.
Doctors observed people with cataracts tend to have the lowest levels of vitamin C. You can get the most vitamin C from citrus and other fruits, as well as herbs and spices, which are particularly rich in vitamin C.
Another powerful antioxidant, this one works particularly well with the retina of your eyes. Severe vitamin E deficiency causes retinal degeneration and blindness, and consuming enough vitamin E may help reduce the risk of cataracts.
Your best source of vitamin E is nuts, seeds, those leafy greens again, yellow and orange vegetables, and 100% whole grains.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Although fatty acids are more important during fetal development, you should maintain a healthy intake for your eyes as you age. Primarily, omega-3 fatty acids reduce the damage done by antioxidants to the nerves and retina.
Omega-3 fatty acids aren't a treatment for poor vision, but studies showed it can reduce dryness and diabetic retinopathy.
Omega-3 fatty acids are most abundant in fish and shellfish. And a good, quality supplement can boost your intake, as well.
Magnesium is one of the most used minerals in the body, acting as a muscle relaxer in many cases. Magnesium can help reduce eye twitching and spasms. By relaxing muscles around your eyes, magnesium can help reduce the pressure and help maintain proper vision.
Magnesium is found mostly in leafy green vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds.
As important for your eyes as it is for your immune system, zinc may help macular degeneration. It's also part of many enzymes that help function as antioxidants. This may not seem like a lot when compared to what zinc can do to your immune system, but remember, your eyes are one of the pathways viruses can use to get into your system, and zinc helps stop that.
Zinc is mostly found in green leafy vegetables and meat, shellfish, nuts, and seeds.
If you take the supplement, you're probably not going to see a direct impact on your eyes. Ginkgo works stronger on your memory, but it does have good research to show it helps your eyes. Some research showed that ginkgo's ability to increase blood flow helps people with glaucoma and macular degeneration. Although the participants in the studies didn't notice a change, their symptoms did reduce.
EGCG was all the rage years ago, and for a good reason. Gallocatican, a particular flavonoid found in abundance in green tea, collects in the retina and helps prevent damage against Blue light. Green tea contains that zeaxanthian and lutein we talked about earlier.
One particular thing of note is that green tea consumption may have it a protein called MMP-9. This protein is a major contributor of dry eyes.
Use caution if you take a copper supplement, as people with copper water pipes may already have enough copper in their bodies. However, if you don't live in a house with copper pipes, you may be facing deficiency. Copper is a major enzyme used by the nervous system and one of the first signs of copper deficiency is ocular lesions, damage done to the optic nerve.
Many supplements contain a little bit of copper, so it's not often found people have a deficiency. But, if you are at risk, a copper supplement can help.
If you take your eye health seriously, you can prevent problems before they start. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with some quality meats, can make you healthier and keep your eyes in good condition.