There is plenty of research showing the connection between food and vitamins and how they affect your eye health. Support is growing for the idea that vitamins and minerals can protect your vision and that you can create a balanced diet that could help prevent macular degeneration and reduce the risk of eye disease.
Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration are two of the leading causes of acquired blindness and visual impairment in the U.S. Nutrition is one way to prevent the progression of these diseases. A balanced diet with vitamins A, C, and E can help give your eyes just what they need to stay healthy. By getting the most vitamins and omega-3 fats from your diet, you’re giving your vision the best chance at remaining strong.
Foods That are Good for Your Eye Health
- Bell Peppers
Bell peppers can help reduce age-related macular degeneration and prostate cancer.2 Eat one cup each day to get your daily recommended intake of vitamins A and C.
Carrots are high in vitamin A, which can reduce the impact of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.2
A study by Tufts University found that blueberries can reduce your risk for cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. They’re also good for the brain!
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are like carrots in that they’re high in beta-carotene. You can enjoy them in a variety of ways, and they pack a powerful vitamin punch.
There are also two carotenoids called lutein (pronounced loo-teen) and zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uh-zan-thin), which are antioxidants you can find in the eye. Green and leafy vegetables and eggs contain these nutrients. These carotenoids can also be taken as macular degeneration supplements to reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases.
How Lutein and Zeaxanthin Make a Healthy Macular Degeneration Diet
Lutein and zeaxanthin help to filter blue wavelengths of light to protect the healthy cells in the eyes. There are over 600 carotenoids found in nature, and these two are deposited in high quantities in your retinas.
Your body doesn’t naturally get the right amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which is why you need to eat green leafy vegetables and take macular degeneration supplements to maintain your eye health. Here are some foods that provide your body with lutein and zeaxanthin:
- Turnip greens
- Green peas
- Romaine lettuce
- Green beans
Evidence that Macular Degeneration Supplements are Good for Your Eyes
In Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2), the National Eye Institute discovered that taking nutritional supplements each day can help to reduce the risk of developing late age-related macular degeneration, and can help improve the visual performance in some patients.
If you’re not getting enough lutein and zeaxanthin in your diet, then it’s a good idea to consider taking a supplement. TOZALis a dietary supplement that is formulated to support eye health. TOZAL goes beyond the AREDS22† formula to support ocular health, with a combination of Taurine, Omega-3 from fish oil, Lutein/Zeaxanthin*, Zinc, Antioxidants, Vitamins A, B6, D3, and Folic Acid; and is beta-carotene free.
Foods to Avoid
Foods high in sugar and refined starches like pasta, rice, and white bread can cause trouble for your eyes. Low-quality carbs can increase your chances of cataracts and cause macular degeneration. The dramatic rise in blood sugar can increase the concentration of sugar in the eye. Long-term exposure to this type of sugar load can damage the retina and cause excessive inflammation. Swap these sugary foods out for fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent macular degeneration.