Essential Vitamins for Healthy Eyes
Our eyes are one of the most complex organs in our body, and taking care of them is of paramount importance: they’re, after all, the only ones you got. Our complex vision is what sets us apart from other mammals, our vision involves a series of intricate communications between our brain and our optic cells which enables us to see the world in all its Technicolor glory.
Like every other part of our body, our eyes need nutrients to sustain their function for as long as we live. Vitamins and minerals, in particular, play a huge role in keeping our eyes strong and efficient. Here, we talk about the three main vitamins that are known to be especially conducive towards eye health.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS FOR HEALTHY EYES
Vitamin A is a group of antioxidant compounds that have long been associated with healthy vision. Remember the time when your parents told you to eat your carrots because it’ll make you see really well? Well, they’re not wrong – at least not entirely. Carrots contain Vitamin A and beta carotene, which are known to promote good eye health, bone health and boosting the immune system.
Vitamin A protects the cornea – the outer surface of your eye – by keeping it lubricated; therefore it is used in over-the-counter eye-drops for dry-eye relief. Likewise, in conjunction with other vitamins like C and E, Vitamin A plays a role in preventing age-related macular degeneration.
Sources: Vitamin A is primarily obtained from like carrots, spinach, kale, cantaloupes and sweet potato in the form of beta-carotene, which is one of the most abundant provitamin A caretenoids. Beta-caretenoid is converted into Vitamin A in the body. It is also found in liver, ricotta and ricotta cheese.
Deficiency: A deficiency of Vitamin A can cause serious vision disorders like night-blindness, cloudy corneas and retinal damage. Since vitamin A also helps with immunity, a lack of it can make your eyes more susceptible to infections
Vitamin C, in conjunction with bioflavonoids, are effective in preserving the health of your vision. They are water-soluble antioxidants which help the body form and retain the connective tissue; this includes the collagen found in the cornea of your eye.
Vitamin C also promotes the health of the fine capillaries that supply blood to your retina. Regular consumption of Vitamin C can help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Sources: Unlike most animals, human beings do not have the ability to produce Vitamin C in their bodies. Therefore, they have to rely on external sources to supplement their Vitamin C intake such as peppers, citrus fruits like oranges and limes, berries like strawberries, huckleberries, or raspberries, broccoli and tomatoes.
Bioflavonoids – which are the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their colors – are often found in the same foods that rich in Vitamin C. For example, anthocyanins – which are found in blueberries and bilberries – can help reduce eye inflammation and diabetic retinopathy.
Deficiency: Vitamin C deficiency can lead to a condition called scurvy, which is characterized by muscle weakness, bleeding gums, sore joints, anemia and depression.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps preserve the cell-membranes in your body from damage caused by metabolic by-products known as “free radicals”. Free radicals are highly chemically reactive and can cause tissue damage and premature tissue aging. Vitamin E is a group of 8 compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols; of this, alpha-tocopherol is an active form of vitamin E.
Naturally occurring Vitamin E – also called d-alpha-tocopherol – can help in delaying the onset of age-related eye disorders like macular degeneration . Vitamin E, along with other vitamins such as A, B-complex and C, can help in preventative eye-care, including a reduced risk of cataracts.
Sources: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts are excellent sources of Vitamin E. Likewise, whole-grain cereal, sunflower seeds, spinach, and avocados are natural sources of Vitamin E.
Deficiency: An imbalanced intake of Vitamin E can lead to involuntary eye movements, nerve damage, and anemia.
Also Read: What Are the Healthy Foods for Healthy Eyes?
Vitamins can provide your eyes with an excellent defense system – protecting them from prematurely degenerating – and the best part, they are naturally occurring in a wide range of fruits, vegetables and even in some meat products. So, to couch it in a cliché, but true, advice: Eat your colors! Your eyes will certainly thank you for it.
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