Nutrition for Good Eye Health
Science Links Nutrition and Eye Health
It should come as little surprise that good overall nutrition, which is essential for optimal health, is also needed for the best health of your eyes. This means that fad diets that concentrate on only certain types of foods may not only affect your general physical health but may also contribute to vision problems.
As recently as 20 years ago, medical science had little in the way of research to confirm the importance nutrition to the prevention and maintenance of conditions that affect the eye such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Fortunately, between government and academic research bodies, there is now scientifically-based information for optimal eye health.
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is the beginning of your best health. Information at MyPyramid.gov provides basic information on what your daily diet should include. A visit to the site also allows you to put in your information to receive individualized recommendations for your age, weight, etc.
Eye Specific Nutrition
Whoever told you to eat your fruits and vegetables was...absolutely right--and seafood and nuts and brown rice and seeds...the list goes on.
Vitamin A: The current thinking is that this fat-soluble vitamin may prevent night blindness and dry eye. Recommended daily allowance (RDA): 2,133 IU for women/3,000 IU for men. Found in: Eggs, milk, butter, beef or chicken liver, cod liver oil, sweet potato, winter squash.
Vitamin C: May reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. RDA: 70 mg for women/90 mg for men. Found in: Citrus fruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, kale, sweet peppers, papaya, Brussel sprouts, broccoli.
Vitamin D: The "sunlight" vitamin may protect against macular degeneration. Found in: Milk, tuna, egg, salmon, sardines, juice fortified with vitamin D--and in a few minutes of skin exposure to sunlight daily, your body will produce its own vitamin D.
Vitamin E: Another fat-soluble vitamin, this one is thought to reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration, in combination with carotenoids and vitamin C. RDA: 15 mg for women and men. Found in: Sunflower seeds, almonds, papaya, olives, greens (spinach, mustard, collard, turnip), blueberries.
Saffron: Early scientific research suggests the benefit of the powerful antioxidant properties of saffron supplementation both in the slowing of progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and improving vision in those already diagnosed with the disease. Clinical trials are currently underway in Italy to better determine the benefits of saffron supplements 20 mg daily for eye health.
Other important nutrients for best eye health:
Beta-carotene: May protect against night blindness and dry eye. Found in: Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, butternut squash, turnip and collard greens, kale.
Flavonoids: These phytonutrients are thought to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Found in: Apples, apricots, tea, red wine, blueberries, black beans, cabbage, legumes, soy products.
Lutein and zeaxanthin: A pair of nutrients also thought to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Found in: Eggs, kale, spinach, turnip and collard greens, Brussel sprouts, romaine lettuce, zucchini
- Buying Saffron - Saffron the Costliest Spice in the World!
Saffron is the costliest spice in the world. So how is saffron produced and whay is the history of saffron. Read on to find out the health benefits of saffron and how it is used in cooking
- Nutrition for Healthy Eyes - AllAboutVision.com
Guide to vitamins and nutrition for eye health. Includes eye benefits, food sources and RDA of important vitamins and micronutrients.
- Scientists Link Nutrition & Eye Health
Information Staff, Agricultural Research Service, USDA. Communicating news and information about scientific research
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This information is not intended to replace or refute any medical advice or recommendations by your health care provider, nor to be used in place of seeking professional medical care.
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