Eye Nutrition

When it comes to your eyes poor diet coupled with a bad lifestyle plays a big part in how healthy our eyes are.

One of the biggest concerns with regard to poor nutrition and its effect on the eyes is the increased risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Foods high in antioxidants such as lutein help protect the body against oxidative stress which has been shown to relate to the onset of AMD.

Large scale clinical trials have shown that taking a nutritional supplement in lutein and zeaxanthin can slow down the progression of AMD in some patients.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are present within the retina of the eye, this is also known as the macular pigment. Many experts regard lutein as vital for the health of the eye. Much like vitamin C, lutein cannot be made by the human body and so it must be eaten.

Dr. Hannah Bartlett recommends a ‘whole-food’ bases diet that is rich in zeaxanthin, lutein, various phenolics, antioxidant vitamins and minerals, with a balanced ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. It is also wise to void high-caloric high-glycemic, saturated-, trans-, and omega 6 fat-rich foods.

Many vitamins that are thought to help maintain healthy cells and tissues in the eye are focused on vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins are found in many fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, tomatoes and in green leafy vegetables. These vitamins are also found in nuts, seeds and most dairy products.

If you are thinking of making some changes to your diet to aid in obtaining healthy eyes:

Carrots: These are high in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A. Lack of vitamin A can lead to dryness and inflammation of the cornea.

Kale: The antioxidant, lutein, is found in large amounts of curly kale. A high concentration of lutein, and related compounds, zeaxanthin, are found in the macula region of the retina, known as the macular pigment. The macular pigment help protect the back of the eye by filtering out damaging blue light from the sun. Lutein has been shown to have the highest blue-light filtering properties, which is why some experts recommend lutein supplements if you don’t regularly eat green vegetables.