The Role of Nutrition in Maintaining Retinal Health-Key Nutrients for Healthy Vision
If you want healthy eyes, be mindful of how you are fueling your body. Plenty of vitamins and antioxidants are the key to maintaining healthy vision. Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C and vitamin E to reducing the risks of certain eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and retinal conditions. By eating the right foods, you can protect your vision, prevent dry eyes and preserve retinal function.
The role of nutrition in maintaining retinal health is in consuming key nutrients for healthy vision. Eating right isn’t just for a better physique or aesthetic appearance, it really can revolutionize how your body performs on the inside. Eyesight is one of the most vital of the 5 senses. You can optimize ocular health and reduce the risk of developing eye diseases including diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye, with key nutrients.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are yellow carotenoid antioxidants that function as natural sunblock for the eyes and play a central role in protecting the eyes against harmful blue light from digital screens and artificial lighting. Studies indicate that dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin are proportional to the levels found in the retina. You can incorporate lutein and zeaxanthin into your diet with spinach, Swiss chard, kale, parsley, pistachios, green peas, egg yolks, sweet corn and red grapes.
The eyes require higher amounts of antioxidants than most other organs of the body. In fact, the concentration of vitamin C is higher in the aqueous humor, the clear fluid that fills the space at the front of the eyeball between the lens and the cornea, than any other body fluid. High amounts of vitamin C can be found in bell peppers, guava, kale, broccoli and citrus fruits. Vitamin C is recommended to protect against cataracts in addition to preventing cellular damage to the photoreceptors in the retina. Vitamins E and A also support the retina. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects fatty acids from harmful oxidation. Severe vitamin E deficiency can be attributed to retinal degeneration and blindness. Make sure you incorporate vitamin E into your diet with almonds, sunflower seeds and flaxseed oil. Vitamin A deficiency is linked to affecting the function of rods and cones in the retina which may lead to the ceasing of pigments that cause night blindness. The richest dietary sources for vitamin A include liver, egg yolks and dairy products.
Rounding out the superpower foods that help protect the retina include nutrients from omega-3 fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid and zinc. Reducing inflammation, preventing dry eyes, and maintaining visual sharpness are just some of the benefits of supplementing your diet with these key fatty acids and antioxidants. Healthy lifestyle habits and regular exercise may help prevent chronic diseases including those that impact your eye health.
For a comprehensive eye exam with retinal imaging at Associated Retina Consultants, contact our office at 602-242-4928 or by visiting WEBSITE.