The Top 10 Nutrients for Healthy Eyes

The Top 10 Nutrients for Healthy Eyes

Your eyes are similar to a camera, and like a camera, if any part of your eye becomes damaged, you do not get a clear picture. There are many factors that can contribute to unhealthy eyes, including exposure to sunlight, your age, smoking and blue light. Now more than ever, electronic devices like your cell phone and computers emit artificial light that impacts everything from your eye health to your sleeping patterns. The good news is that there are 8 nutrients that provide superior eye health benefits.


Many fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon, anchovies and tuna, and is also available in supplement form. Published in the journal Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, researchers found that omega-3s alleviated dry eye symptoms, decreased tear evaporation rates and improved dry eyes brought on by computers in the study’s participants after 3 months.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, including cigarette smoke, air pollution, and UV rays from the sun.Vitamin E is crucial for the health of our nerves and it can help the eyes better communicate with the brain to provide healthy vision. According to the American Optometric Association, Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the profression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract formation. High levels of Vitamin E can be found in nuts and legumes, including walnuts, cashews and peanuts and in supplement form.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant that protects the cells from free radicals. It also helps us build collagen, the main structural protein in the eye (and the rest of the body). The blood vessels that lead into the eye are so small that they are only one red blood cell thick, so it is important to protect these fragile vessels. Vitamin C protects the capillary beds and ensures a steady supply of nutrients to the eyes. High levels of Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits including lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and is also available in supplement form.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina absorb light. To see the full spectrum of light, your eye needs to produce certain pigments for the cells in your retina to work properly. When you are deficient in Vitamin A, the production of these pigments is stopped, leading to night blindness. Without enough Vitamin A, your eyes cannot product enough moisture to keep them properly lubricated. Carrots have a high amount of Vitamin A in them, or Vitamin A is available through supplementation.

Beta Carotene

Carotenoids are red, orange and yellow pigments found mostly in fruits and vegetables, even if they are green in color – like spinach! Beta Carotene is the most popular and active member of this family. It helps the eye filter and absorb all the colors of the visual spectrum and allows us to see clearly and sharply.


Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is highly concentrated in the eye. Impaired vision, such as poor night vision and cloudy cataracts, have been linked to zinc deficiency. According to the American Optometric Association, a study showed that individuals with high risk for AMD could slow the progression of advanced AMD by about 25% and visual acuity loss by 19% by taking 40-80mg/day of zinc, along with certain antioxidants.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Two caroteinoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are antioxidants located in the eye. Green, leafy vegetables, as well as other foods such as eggs, contain these important nutrients. Lutein and Zeaxanthin filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and help protect and maintain health cells in the eyes. But the human body does not naturally make the lutein and zeaxanthin it needs so eating your vegetables or supplementation is very important and helps to maintain good eye health.


N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant that plays a powerful role in protecting the integrity of tissues, especially for the health of the eyes and vision. NAC clears away the waste material that can accumulate in the retina. NAC has also been shown to improve night vision. According to Nicole Crane, BS, NTP, NAC works like a windshield wiper to remove buildup on the lens of the eye, which results in nighttime glare. NAC is one of the most versatile, protective nutrients for the eyes.

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