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4 Essential Nutrients for Maintaining Eye Health

Diet is one of the aspects of eye care that few people consider.

However, what you eat does have an effect on the health of your eyes because the eyes depend on important nutrients necessary for preventing serious eye conditions.

Studies show that individuals who practice poor diabetes management and do not stabilize blood sugar levels tend to suffer more from conditions such as temporary or permanent blindness, blurriness, and cataracts. As of 2012, an estimated 142,648,393 Americans over the age of 40 suffered from vision problems (Prevent Blindness America).

What nutrients are essential for good eye health?

  1. Lutein and zeaxanthin: are carotenoids found in foods such as kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, romaine, pumpkin, and carrots to name a few.

  2. Zinc: is an antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage. Zinc can be found in meats, shellfish, seeds, nuts, and eggs.

  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: fatty acids are essential for decreasing inflammation and degeneration. Omega-3 rich foods include fish (especially salmon), walnuts, seaweed and algae, and chia seeds.

  4. Vitamin C: helps by reducing the risk of cataracts. Foods that are highest in vitamin C include acerola cherry, thyme, kale, kiwis, strawberries, lemon, and broccoli.

Although diet is key for keeping your eyes healthy, it can also be beneficial to:

-quit smoking

-reduce constant exposure to ultraviolet light (wearing shades when outdoors for long periods of time is recommended)

-maintain a healthy weight (cause of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease)

-attend a yearly eye exam


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