Proven Foods and Vitamins to Improve and Protect Eyesight (Evidence Based)

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Top 9 Foods and Herbs to Improve and Protect Your Eyesight

Many foods are packed with vitamins and nutrients that you need for good vision. Foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, blueberries, and broccoli contain many vitamins to strengthen your eyesight. Other foods for good eyesight include oily fish, eggs, and nuts because they provide essential nutrients for your eye health.

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Of course, there isn’t just one food that protects your vision from age-related degeneration. However, foods containing the proper vitamins for eyesight can help protect against cataracts, eye diseases, and prevent vision loss. Lowering high blood pressure, quitting smoking, and having a healthy weight can also help protect your vision.

In this article, you will learn about the best foods and nutrients to help improve your eyesight. You will also find out how to protect your vision and maintain a good eye health and function.

How Diet and Nutrition Affect Eye Health

Good nutrition plays a vital role in vision health and preventing age-related eye disorders. Scientific research points to the fact that many eyesight-related diseases are linked to poor diet and nutrition.

The journal Clinical Interventions in Aging reports that foods for good eye health should contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. These types of foods help prevent many eyesight problems that are related to poor vision or vision dysfunction. (1)

Research has identified what the best vitamins for eyesight are. For example, beta- carotene (vitamin A), vitamin E, and vitamin C help to lower your risk of age-related eye disease. Also, nutrients for healthy eyes include omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Enjoying healthy foods that help make eyesight better can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and glaucoma. (1) Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition that is a leading cause of vision loss in people aged over 50 years.

The Best Foods for Your Eyes

Let’s look in more detail at some of the best foods to eat to improve your eyesight naturally.

Oily Fish for Good Eyesight

A good diet for eye health should contain 2 or 3 servings of oily fish every week because of their omega-3 content.

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources of nutrients that help protect eye health. Researchers have found that omega-3 from oily fish and seafood helps prevent age-related macular degeneration.

One study involving 290 adults found that consuming seafood lowered the risk of developing eye disease in later life. Getting enough omega-3 from seafood sources is a natural way to help protect your vision. (2)

Consuming oily fish or taking omega-3 supplements is also good for women’s eyesight. One cohort study found that women who regularly consumed at least one portion of fish a week had a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. (3)

Scientists have also found that dietary omega-3 intake helps develop better vision health in adolescents. (4)

Another reason to eat a few portions of oily fish every week is that they are rich in vitamin D. This is another vitamin that is important for eyesight improvement and to help prevent vision-related problems. (5)

Find out more about the best sources of omega-3 to help improve your eye health.

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Eggs Contain Nutrients that Boost Eye Health

Eggs are a healthy addition to your diet if you want to help strengthen your eyesight and prevent age-related vision problems.

The Journal of Nutrition found that people over 60 who consumed 1 egg per day for 5 weeks increased nutrients that boost eye health. Researchers found that eating an egg daily increased lutein and zeaxanthin levels without adversely affect cholesterol levels. (6)

One study found that egg yolk contains one of the highest percentages of lutein and zeaxanthin in any food. Eggs are a complete food that can help to strengthen macular pigments in human eyes. (7)

Eggs are a surprisingly healthy food that is a good source of protein. Find out how many eggs you can eat without affecting your cholesterol levels. You may also be interested to learn if there are any benefits in the egg diet.

Foods Rich in Vitamin A for Eyes

If you want to strengthen your eyesight and help ensure better vision as you get older, it’s important to get enough vitamin A.

Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins for eyesight because it helps protect eye cells from damage. Research has shown that getting enough vitamin A is essential for the visual process and in helping prevent retinal degeneration. (8)

Some studies have found that addressing a vitamin A deficiency can help treat night blindness. Also, dietary vitamin A or taking vitamin A supplements can help to delay the onset of age-related vision disorders. (9)

As well as helping to improve eyesight, vitamin A is essential for your immune system and healthy growth. (10)

It is important to know that a vitamin A deficiency can cause more health issues than just poor vision.

Let’s look at a few of the best foods for your eyes that contain plenty of vitamin A.

Carrots for good vision

Carrots are a good source of vitamin A that can help to make your eyesight better.

Researchers have found that carrots contain beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) which is associated with improved vision. Beta-carotene from carrots is a good source of vitamin A for people who are vegetarian or vegan. (11)

The results of some studies suggest that eating carrots help improve your nighttime vision. (12)

Liver is a good vitamin A food for the eyes

One of the best sources of vitamin A that may help in making your eyesight better is liver.

Liver contains high levels of vitamin A and could be one of the top foods for eye health. For example, 100 grams of beef liver contains 16,814 IU of vitamin A which is around 300% of your daily requirement for vision health. (13)

Eating liver to help keep your eyesight healthy is also important because it contains vitamin B12. Scientists have found that a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve damage that can also affect your vision. (14)

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Sweet potato

Because it is a good source of vitamin A, you can also add sweet potato to your diet if you want to help improve your eyesight.

For example, one large baked sweet potato (180 g) contains 20 mg of beta-carotene. According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, this is more than double your requirements of vitamin A per day. (15, 16)

You can help improve your eyesight even more by consuming purple sweet potato. Antioxidants in purple sweet potato (anthocyanins) have great benefit for eye health. Research has found that consuming purple sweet potato helps to protect the eye retina from damage and can prevent vision impairment. (17)

Find out more about the benefits to your eye health, cardiovascular health, and digestive health of eating more purple sweet potato.

Red bell pepper

One of the top vegetables for good eye health could be red bell peppers because they contain both vitamins A and C.

According to research, red bell peppers contain the most beta-carotene from all of the bell peppers. The result of the research found that sweet bell peppers are a good source of antioxidants, with red peppers being the best for eyesight. (18)

A whole fresh red bell pepper has enough vitamin A to meet your daily requirements. (19)

Some of the other top foods for good retina health that contain vitamin A are mangoes, black-eyed peas, dried apricots, and tomato juice. (19)

Vitamin C-Rich Foods for Good Eyesight

In order to prevent macular degeneration, it is essential to consume foods rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

According to researchers from the American Optometric Association, vitamin C is an important vitamin for good vision. Vitamin C helps support blood vessels in the eye, prevents cataracts, and lowers your risk of age-related macular degeneration. (20)

Some studies have shown that women can lower their risk of age-related eye diseases by taking a combination of vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, and zinc. (20)

Researchers have also identified that vitamin C, E, and A are the most important vitamins to help prevent cataracts in old age. Adequate levels of vitamin C also help to promote good eye health in general. (21, 22)

Citrus fruits promote good vision

Citrus fruits are some of the best fruits for eye health and to prevent age-related vision problems.

Studies have shown that oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are good sources of vitamin C. Consuming citrus juices is a good way to increase your intake of ascorbic acid and help make your eyesight better. (23, 1)

Find out why starting your day with a refreshing glass of lemon water is a great idea. A glass of lemon juice can help flush out toxins and increase your vitamin C intake.

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Kiwifruit contains nutrients for healthy eyes

If you want to improve your eye health, you should include kiwifruit in your diet because it is rich in “eye” nutrients.

The British Journal of Ophthalmology reports that kiwifruit is good for healthy vision because it contains vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin. (24)

Broccoli

Broccoli is among the many foods that help to prevent macular degeneration because of the compound sulforaphane.

Researchers have found that broccoli sulforaphane is an important antioxidant that helps prevent oxidative stress. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins A, C, and E which are also essential for good eye health. (25)

Learn more about why you should consume more broccoli as part of a diet to promote good eye health and vision.

Green Leafy Vegetables to Help Improve Vision

Green leafy vegetables contain many of the nutrients you require to enjoy good vision in later life.

According to the American Optometric Association, green leafy veggies are a good source of vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin. This combination of nutrients is necessary to help prevent retinal damage that can lead to cataracts. A diet rich in green leafy vegetables can also help to lower your risk of age-related vision disorders. (26)

Let’s have a closer look at some of the best leafy vegetables that can help improve your eyesight.

Kale for eyesight improvement

Kale is a superfood that can help protect your vision because of its high levels of antioxidants.

The journal Nutrients reports that kale is an excellent plant-based source of lutein and zeaxanthin. In fact, from all of the green leafy vegetables that are good for your health, kale comes out on top. (27)

One study found that an increased dietary intake of kale and spinach helped to boost eye health by 5% over a 4-week period. (27)

The American Optometric Association says that one cup of cooked kale contains 23.8 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin. Most studies recommend a daily intake of 10 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin to promote good eyesight. (26)

Find out about more of the amazing health benefits of eating kale.

Spinach for better eyesight

Eating spinach will help you get many of the necessary vitamins and nutrients required for improved vision.

Spinach is beneficial for your eyesight because it contains good amounts of eye-healthy vitamins A, C, and E. Spinach leaves are also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin that help reduce your risk of macular degeneration. (27)

One cup of cooked spinach contains 26 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin, 18,867 IU of vitamin A (337% of your recommended daily intake), and 17.6 mg vitamin C (29% of your RDI). (28)

Other green leafy vegetables that are good for healthy eyes include collard greens, turnip greens, and cabbage. (26)

Foods Rich in Vitamin E for Eye Health

If you want to consume foods that improve your vision, you need to include vitamin E-rich foods in your diet.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to slow down the progression of macular degeneration and cataracts. A vitamin E deficiency is linked to eye nerve damage, muscle weakness, and poor coordination. (29)

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Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health report that you need adequate levels of vitamin E to help prevent vision impairment. (30)

Vitamin E is also necessary for healthy skin, hair, and health. Learn about more ways to get enough vitamin E in your diet.

Olive oil for good vision

One of the healthy oils for good eyesight is olive oil because it has high levels of vitamin E.

The journal PLoS One reports that virgin olive oil is a rich source of antioxidants. Research has found that people who regularly consume olive oil have a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration. Researchers recommended that elderly people consume olive oil to help prevent degenerative vision problems. (31)

Extra virgin olive oil has more benefits to your health, not just for your eyes.

Other rich vitamin E foods to include in a healthy “eye” diet include nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, almonds and hazelnuts. (32)

Nuts and Seeds Contain Many Nutrients for Good Eyesight

Many nuts contain nutrients that may help make your vision better and prevent vision-loss problems as you age.

The reason why nuts and seeds are so good for your eye health is that they contain a lot of vitamin E. Research has also shown that nuts also contain folate (vitamin B9) and zinc which are also important for your macular health. (33)

When discussing the top foods for eye health, researchers from Harvard Medical School said that nuts and seeds are an excellent choice. Many types of nuts are good for your vision because they contain omega-3, vitamins A, C, and E. (34)

The American Optometric Association reports that 2 servings of nuts every day can provide enough vitamin E to prevent many vision disorders. One serving is about a small handful of nuts. (35)

According to some studies, almonds are one of the best nuts for eye health. A 27-gram serving of almonds contains 7 mg of vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol). (1)

Berries Contain Vitamins for Good Eyesight

You can help improve your eye health through your diet by including berries for their nutritional value to improve macular health.

Berries are good to eat as part of a nutritious diet to boost vision health because they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.

According to evidence from some studies, there are some berries that are excellent for good vision. Among these berries that may help improve vision are blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. (1)

Blueberries for eye health

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins that help protect against retinal damage.

A 2018 study found that blueberry anthocyanins help inhibit the effect of oxidative stress in the eyes. Blueberry extracts also help boost enzymes that protect cells from damage in the retina. Researchers concluded that blueberries may help prevent the progression of age-related macular degeneration. (36)

Did you know that eating more blueberries may also help boost your brain function and improve your memory?

Bilberry helps improve vision

A 2012 study found that bilberries have the potential to help protect retina health that is compromised due to obesity or diabetes. Anthocyanins in bilberries help prevent damage to the eye and may help prevent vision loss. (37)

Blackcurrant may strengthen eyesight

Blackcurrants are another delicious food that help improve eyesight naturally. Scientific studies have shown that blackcurrants have antioxidants that help prevent vision deterioration and may help lower your risk of glaucoma. (38)

Goji berries protect against macular degeneration

One way to help improve your vision through diet is to include more goji berries.

Researchers have found that goji berries contain powerful antioxidants that benefit eye health. One study found that consuming 17 grams of goji berries per day helped to increase zeaxanthin and antioxidant levels. Over a 90-day period, the addition of goji berries to the diet had the potential to improve the eye health of elderly people. (39)

Zinc

When it comes to choosing the best foods to improve eyesight, it is also important to include zinc-rich foods in your diet.

A systematic review of 10 studies found that zinc is an important mineral that promotes good eye health. Getting enough zinc in your diet could be an important factor in preventing macular degeneration from progressing. (40)

Foods rich in zinc that may improve eye health include beef, seafood, fortified cereals, oatmeal, almonds, kidney beans, and yogurt. (41)

Of course, taking a diet rich in zinc may not help improve your eyesight fast. However, a diet rich in vitamins A, C, E, and zinc can help to make your eyesight better over time.

Folate (Folic Acid or Vitamin B9)

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found on 2016 that high folate intake was associated with a reduced risk of progression to macular degeneration. (42)

The researchers said that folate is mainly found in cereals, dark-green vegetables, citrus fruits, bananas, and dairy products.

As for other B vitamins, the researchers say that thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and vitamins B-6 and B-12 were not significantly associated with macular degeneration.

However an earlier study from 2009 found that daily supplementation with folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 may reduce the risk of AMD. The researchers said that these findings are the strongest evidence to date to support the possible beneficial effect for folic acid and B vitamins in AMD prevention, and these findings need to be confirmed in further studies. (43)

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4 Responses to Proven Foods and Vitamins to Improve and Protect Eyesight (Evidence Based)

  1. Holistic Chef Barry says:

    For Eye Health It is important to note that the water soluble vitamins like C is destroyed by heat so raw juicing is good for your eyes and is loaded with antioxidants. Eating a raw rainbow diet of leafy greens mixed in with a rainbow color of fruits at one siting is good for your eye health. And eating the same way with vegetables is also good for your eye health. Berries are excellent as well. Hydrate with plentiful water and rest your eyes often at the computer . Holistic Chef Barry

  2. Ghanchi says:

    I had this problem that when ever I watched tv or sat at computer when I used to get up I would have double vision for at least 10 to 15 mintues.Then I started taking a tbsp of mustard seeds mixed with an egg,after 4 or 5 days this problem disappeared.Mustard has the highest amount of zinc and have made a habit of making this combination 2 to 3 times a week.

  3. harold spoon says:

    I have tried Lutein before and stopped using it as it had a strange side effect on me,,seems that it caused me to have a feeling of deep sorrow,like depression,,that’s the only way I can describe it,,,so am trying more blueberry supplements ,,good for an old welder who couldn’t hardly drive at night anymore,,the oncoming lights were to big around,so had to turn head while driving,,dangerous practice when driving on a very busy hiway.Now after the supplements,I can drive again at night as the lights have shrunk down to normal…

  4. Toni says:

    Also make sure you get tested for food allergies/intolerances and remove the offending foods this will lessen any inflammation. Then make sure you add in foods that are super healthy nutritious and take out the SUGAR!!!!

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