Nutrition and Eye Health

    Glenn Smith 13 Apr

    Person Centered Care, Short-Term Rehabilitation, Long Term Care, caregiver, elder care

    Nutrition and Eye Health


    Age-related vision changes over time and common as we age. Yet, many may be surprised to learn about the simple food choices we can make that will impact our eye health. Good nutrition lessen the severity of the leading causes of vision impairment, which include cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In this article we’ll take a look at foods and the benefits of general nutrition and your eye health.

    Food That Contributes to Healthy Eyes

    As many of us agree, well-balanced diet is necessary for overall health. The emphasis is to eat a nutrient-rich diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beneficial fats, and healthy sources of protein.

    Choosing a variety of colorful produce that's rich in antioxidants is a boost for your eye health. Selecting foods with selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, zinc, and omega-3 fats are natural ways to lower the risk of vision problems.

    Nutrition and Eye Health

    Here’s a snapshot of foods to include. The recommendation is to have at least three servings per week from each group.

    Vitamin A

    Carrots, kale, spinach, dairy products, egg yolks 

    Vitamin C 

    Citrus fruits (especially kiwi fruit) and juices, bell peppers, broccoli, potatoes 

    Vitamin E 

    Eggs, whole grains, vegetable oils, sunflower seeds 


    Spinach, corn, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts 

    Fatty acids 

    Cold water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and rainbow trout; sunflower oil, corn oil 


    Meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, dairy products 


    Adding antioxidants to your diet can improve your eye health. Antioxidants play an essential role in protecting the eye's cells from harmful free radicals. Due to exposure to light the eye is more vulnerable to oxidative damage from free radicals than most parts of the human body. The following antioxidants and nutrients can improve your vision and overall eye health.

    Vitamin C

    Studies have associated vitamin C with delaying the onset of cataracts and slowing their progression. Consuming vitamin C along with other essential nutrients such as vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin, and copper also has been linked to delaying the progression of AMD. While many fruits and vegetables provide vitamin C, the following provide a high level.

    • Citrus Fruits: Oranges, Grapefruits, Kiwi and Lemons Food sources with Vitamin C
    • Strawberries
    • Tomatoes
    • Green, Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
    • Papaya
    • Broccoli


    Vitamin E

    Vitamin E is also linked to delaying the progression of cataracts and AMD. Dietary sources with significant levels of vitamin E include: 

    Nutrition and Eye Health -  Vitamin E i

    • Peanuts
    • Almonds 
    • Corn oil
    • Peanut butter
    • Sunflower seeds


    Lutein and Zeaxanthin

    These nutrients usually present together in dark green leafy vegetables like brussel sprouts, spinach, kale and collard greens.  Research suggests having at least 6 mg per day of these nutrients to lower the risk of AMD.


    study concluded the combination of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E slowed the progression of age-related cataracts. Other have linked consuming beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, and zinc with decelerating the progression of AMD.

    Here are three food sources containing beta-carotene:  Beta-carotene

    • Carrots 
    • Sweet potatoes 
    • Cantaloupe

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids  has been linked to decrease the risk of developing AMD. Add these food option to increase your omega-3 fatty acids to support your eye health.

    • Salmon Nutrition and Eye Health - Omega 3
    • Herring
    • Sardines
    • Tuna
    • Mackerel
    • Walnuts
    • Flaxseed oil
    • Soybean oil 

    Along with getting the most from what you eat, it is highly recommended you have an annual eye exam. Combining good nutrition with yearly checkups will increase your defense against eye health conditions.

    Read more of Church Home LifeSpring blog articles on wellness and person-centered care. Church Home LifeSpring as an experienced provider of short-term and long-term rehabilitation services is committed to exceed caregiving to the Middle Georgia community.


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