Feeding Your Eyes: How Nutrition Impacts Vision

Feeding Your Eyes: How Nutrition Impacts Vision

Like every other organ in the body, the eyes depend on proper nutrition. This applies to everyone, but especially to those who regularly wear monthly contact lenses, for whom the eyes will be under particular abrasive stress, and who are therefore vulnerable to side effects like itching and aching.

With all of that said, even those of us who enjoy perfectly healthy eyes should be aiming toward a diet that supports proper vision in the long term.

But, having established the importance of such a diet, we’re still left with the question of what that diet should ideally look like. Let’s take a look at some of the most important pillars.

Vitamin A
You might see vitamin A referred to as ‘retinol’. It’s famous for helping us to see in poor light conditions, and for bolstering the immune system. It’s to be found in cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk. Your body can also generate vitamin A from beta-carotene, which is to be found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin C
This antioxidant forms a line of defence against damaging ‘free radicals’. It will also support the health of small blood vessels, of the kind found in the eye. You can find it in peppers, kiwi fruit and potatoes. According to NHS guidelines, adults need around 40mg of Vitamin C per day.

Vitamin E
Here we have another antioxidant, which supports a healthy immune system, and helps to keep the eyes in good shape as we age. This is a vitamin that’s rarely discussed, as it’s easy for the body to store for later use, and can be found in a range of sources, like nuts, seeds, and plant oils.

Zinc is one of the essential minerals. It helps to protect the retina, and helps the body to resist macular degeneration as we get older. Zinc can be found in lean meats, legumes and nuts. It’s however difficult to eat too much zinc, as the body will excrete any surplus.

This is a group of essential fats that’s found in abundance in oily fish, as well as supplements. It’s been linked with reducing dry eye, of the kind that arises from prolonged screen use (which tends to reduce the rate at which we blink).

There are three Omega-3 fatty acids, these being: eicosapentaenoic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid. Of these, ALA is the only one that can typically be found outside seafood.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These antioxidants are found in a range of vegetables. They’re both carotenoids, and give foods a slightly red colour. They’re found in abundance in the macula. You might also take a supplement containing these foods, particularly if you’re worried that you don’t get enough through diet.