What Nutrients Help Protect Against Eye Diseases?

What Nutrients Help Protect Against Eye Diseases?

Your eyesight is priceless. It’s a gift that you should take very good care of. Without it, it would be hard to imagine how life will be.

Your diet affects your eye health. There are essential nutrients that the eyes need and without them, poor vision may result, not to mention eye problems like cataract and macular degeneration.  Make sure that you get the right amount of these basic nutrients to avoid eye problems.

You can take supplements to meet your body’s nutrient requirements. But remember that your primary source of nutrients should be the food you eat. Don’t disregard proper diet with the thinking that you can take supplements. It is still best to get your needed nutrients from natural food sources.

So you should know what vitamins and nutrients you need to have for good eyesight, check the list below for your perusal.

Essential Nutrients for Good Vision


  • Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene: These vitamins are necessary for good night vision. These also help in healing of wounds and making the immune system work efficiently. Be sure to have the proper level of beta-carotene, which is 5,000 IU per day. Sweet potatoes, carrots and dark, leafy green vegetables are good sources of beta-carotene.
  • Vitamin B complex which include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, biotin, choline and folic acid. Vitamin B complex is essential for reducing chronic swelling and keeping the proper levels of homocysteine in the blood. Deficiency of this vitamin is often associated with vascular problems that affect the retina.
  • Vitamin C: This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant. Having the right amount of vitamin C in the body can help reduce the occurrence of cataract.
  • Vitamin D: Many people do not have sufficient vitamin D, which could lead to having macular degeneration. Intake of supplements and foods like salmon, mackerel, beef and egg yolks are good sources of this vitamin. Take these to avoid macular degeneration.
  • Vitamin E: Having the required amount of vitamin E in the body ensures protection against common eye problems like cataract. Eat sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and safflower oil to get the vitamin E you need.

Other Nutrients

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin: These two nutrients are essential for proper eye health. Check if your supplement contains lutein and zeaxanthin to lower your risk of cataract and macular degeneration.
  • Phytochemical antioxidants: Eye diseases are commonly the result of oxidative stress. Phytochemicals help fight oxidative stress. So be sure to eat your fruits, vegetables, beans and grains, which are good sources of phytochemicals.

While you may want to take supplements to improve your eye health, you should be cautious in taking the correct dosage. Read the label on the supplement package and follow the dosage instructions.

Exceeding the right dosage can negatively affect your general health. If you want to make sure that you only take what your body needs, consult your doctor. This is highly recommended especially if you have any health conditions and are taking medications.

Photo credits: By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Valcarcel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Categories: Health, Nutrition