Let’s face it – sometimes with vegetables our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and we try to observe a perfect diet of salad and more salad, but can’t quite meet the mark. In these cases, you might want to increase your nutritional supplements and the vitamins that you might be deficient in, particularly if you have a family history of eye problems. For those of you lucky birds who have somehow perfected the art of eating a perfectly balanced diet, you’re probably all set. But if not, it doesn’t hurt to consider taking vitamins and supplements that will give your health that needed boost. Pretty soon, we’ll go into the best vitamins and supplements for promoting eye health.
There are significant impacts on your eyes as you age, so it’s best to look ahead and prevent potential problems before they become obvious. Especially if protecting your eye health is as easy as taking a supplement once a day. Given that our eyes are at the center of our engagement with the world, you should consider taking a supplement that will promote good overall eye health. There are a number of vitamins that studies have shown can improve and maintain your eye health.
We’ve all heard the old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, the same should be said about vitamin C supplements, but the phrase doesn’t quite have the same jingle to it. According to the American Optometric Association, vitamin C is a critical component in the promotion of eye health. It can slow down the progression of both age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss. Vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables, as well as supplements. So, if you aren’t someone who loves vegetables or fruit, a supplement can be a good choice.
What’s more, vitamin C promotes health in our cartilage, teeth, capillaries, and gums. It aids in the absorption of iron, which has its enviable own list of health benefits. Most of the cells in the body rely on a healthy dose of vitamin C, including the eye. Most specifically, vitamin C can be good for the eye’s blood vessels.
The American Optometric Association also reinforces the importance of vitamin C in decreasing the risk of developing cataracts and states that taking a vitamin C supplement of 300 mg can help prevent the overall development of cataracts. In addition, the National Eye Institute found a link between age-related macular degeneration and nutrition. For those that were at a higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, taking a supplement of 500 mg of vitamin C along with other supplements slowed the progression of the disease.
A new eye disease study suggests that some vitamins found in a B-Complex supplement can be linked to treating certain eye conditions, namely uveitis. Vitamin B1, which reduces inflammation, has been shown to prevent the eye condition, which can ultimately lead to overall blindness.
According to the Mayo Clinic, new research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil supplements, can reduce the symptoms associated with dry eyes. So, if this is an issue you face, fish oil might relieve your discomfort from dry eyes. Where do dry eyes come from? In order to stay comfortable and maintain good vision, the front of your eyes need to be lubricated with a layer of tears. Those tears usually have just the right amount of oils and water in them. If the mixture is off, or there isn’t enough, it can lead to ocular surface disease, which is basically dry eyes. Those dry eyes can be incredibly uncomfortable, but fish oil supplements have shown to be a possible remedy.
At one point in time, calcium was thought to increase your risk for developing age-related macular degeneration. However, according to The American Optometric Association, new research believes the opposite could be true. Recent studies suggest that taking a calcium supplement might actually prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration. This is great news for anyone who needs calcium supplements to treat other conditions, such as osteoporosis.
Getting regular check-ups for your eyes, the same as you would a physical exam, is one of the best ways to maintain your overall eye health. A regular exam can spot issues early on when preventative measures might still be helpful. Delaying exams can lead to problems that cannot be remedied such as blindness or permanent vision loss.
According to the National Eye Institute, there are many ways to keep your eyes healthy. Some of them include:
Maintaining a healthy weight Cleaning your hands and contact lenses Wearing sunglasses Never smoking or quitting smoking Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with a focus on leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acids Tracking your family’s eye history Giving your eyes plenty of rest, especially if you focus on a computer regularly or for long periods of time
What you eat can have a direct impact on your vision, according to Harvard Medical School. The minerals and vitamins found in certain foods can help to prevent two of the most common causes of eye problems. Those two issues are age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Cataracts are defined as areas that are cloudy in the eye’s lens. Cataracts result when age-related macular degeneration causes vision loss in the macula. The macula controls the central vision of the eye.
The progression of age-related macular degeneration can be slowed or even prevented with a diet that has the right antioxidant vitamins and minerals. These include zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, E, and C. There are also additional compounds that can help the overall health of the eye. Including healthy amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein in the diet can help improve the macula’s pigment density.
Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in many leafy green vegetables as well as some other diet stapes. Examples include brussels sprouts, broccoli, romaine lettuce, spinach, oranges, squash, papaya, eggs, corn, nectarines, collard greens, and kale. Zinc can be found in oysters, red meat, yogurt, pork chops, and chickpeas. Chickpeas (which can be made into hummus) are a great option for vegetarians or vegans who do not eat red meat. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil, salmon, tuna, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed and halibut. They can also be found in fish oil supplements as well.
Vitamin A is most prevalent in raw cantaloupe, mangos, carrots, part-skim ricotta cheese, sweet potatoes, raw red peppers, and apricots. Good sources of Vitamin C include grapefruit, broccoli, kiwi, brussels sprouts, oranges, strawberries and raw red peppers. Vitamin E can be found in sunflower seeds, broccoli, peanut butter, almonds, and wheat germ.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, carrot juice, or carrots in general, can help to increase good vision. However, the effect is not exclusive to carrots, but rather to vitamin A, or beta-carotene, found in carrots. Concentrations of Vitamin A are negatively correlated with multiple eye diseases, such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. The benefits do not have to come from carrots alone, but from a healthy dose of Vitamin A, which can be found in other foods and supplements as well. However, if you enjoy carrots or carrot juice, you can certainly get the necessary amount there.
According to Harvard Medical School, if certain eye exercises are performed regularly and faithfully, the need for wearing glasses or contacts can be delayed in some individuals. With that said, the most common eye issues that require corrective lenses are not curable with eye exercises. These include farsightedness, nearsightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism. Eye exercises will not prevent macular degermation or glaucoma. Overall, eye exercises can delay the need for corrective lenses but will not prevent your need for them long term.
Eye exercises can enhance letter recognition and accuracy but studies suggest that they do not enhance reaction time.
The exercises you can do to help improve your eye sight are:
Blinking: Get into a comfortable position with your eyes open. Blink rapidly 10 to 15 times, then close your eyes for about 20 seconds. Do this 4 or 5 times in a row.
Palming: Warm your hands by rubbing them together very quickly. Once warm, place them over your eyelids. The warmth is intended to help your eye muscles relax. Do this until the heat from your hands has been total absorbed by your eyes. You can repeat the exercise a couple of times.
Shifting: Look to one direction, either left or right and then shift your gaze to the opposing direction. Then switch and do it starting from the opposite direction. This makes the small muscles in your eyes to get healthier while pumping blood.
Zooming: Get very comfortable in a chair with one arm stretch out before you and your thumb up. Bend your arm slowly, drawing it closer to your eyes. You are essentially zooming in and out of focus on your thumb.
Figure Eight: Sit comfortably with your legs stretched out in front of you. Put your left hand on your left knee and look to the right corner. Hold your right fist above your right knee and keep your elbow straight with your thumb pointed up. Focus your eyes on the thumb without moving your head. Make a figure eight with your thumb, while keeping your arm straight the entire time. Repeat four or five times in the clockwise direction and then four or five more times in the counter-clockwise direction. Then, repeat the full exercises and repetitions using your left thumb.
If you don’t know where your specific nutritional gaps are, it might be wisest to select a multivitamin to promote good eye health. The multivitamin from Care/of is easy to digest and comes from whole foods. You will find that you get a hefty dose vitamins A, C, and D3 along with a many other vitamins and minerals such as zinc, thiamin, B6, B12 and vitamin E. Taking a good multivitamin from Care/of can help stave off any eye health issues.