Your Complete Guide to Essential Foods for Healthy Vision

 

The Right Foods – Essential for Healthy Vision

Research suggests that antioxidants and other important nutrients may
reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Specific antioxidants can have additional benefits as well; for example, vitamin A protects against blindness, and vitamin C may play a role in preventing or alleviating glaucoma.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids appear to help the eye in a variety of ways, from alleviating symptoms of dry eye syndrome to guarding against macular damage.

 

Eye Benefits Of Vitamins And Micronutrients

The following vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been shown to be essential for good vision and may protect your eyes from sight-robbing conditions and diseases.

A healthy diet for your eyes should include plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. 

Incorporating the following foods in your diet will help you get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of these important eye nutrients. Established by the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences), the RDA is the average daily dietary intake level of a nutrient sufficient to meet the requirements of nearly all healthy individuals in a specific life stage and gender group.

While the RDA is a useful reference, some eye care practitioners recommend higher daily intakes of certain nutrients for people at risk for eye problems. In the following , mg = milligram; mcg = microgram (1/1000 of a mg) and IU = International Unit.

Beta-carotene

Eye benefits of beta-carotene: when taken in combination with zinc and vitamins C and E, beta-carotene may reduce the progression of macular degeneration.
Food sources: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, butternut squash.
RDA: None (most supplements contain 5,000 to 25,000 IU).

Eye Benefits of Bioflavonoids (Flavonoids)

Bioflavonoids may protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Food sources: Tea, red wine, citrus fruits, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, legumes, soy products.
RDA: None.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin 

Eye benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin: may prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
Food sources: Spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, squash.
RDA: None.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Eye benefits of omega-3 fatty acids: may help prevent macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eyes.
Food sources: Cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring; fish oil supplements, freshly ground flaxseeds, walnuts.
RDA: None; but for cardiovascular benefits, the American Heart Association recommends approximately 1,000 mg daily.

Selenium

Eye benefits of selenium: when combined with carotenoids and vitamins C and E, may reduce risk of advanced AMD.
Food sources: Seafood (shrimp, crab, salmon, halibut), Brazil nuts, enriched noodles, brown rice.
RDA: 55 mcg for teens and adults (60 mcg for women during pregnancy and 70 mcg when breast-feeding).

 
Vitamin A

Eye benefits of vitamin A: may protect against night blindness and dry eyes.
Food sources: Beef or chicken liver; eggs, butter, milk.
RDA: 3,000 IU for men; 2,333 IU for women (2,567 IU during pregnancy and 4,333 IU when breast-feeding).

 

Vitamin C  

Eye benefits of vitamin C: may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Food sources: Sweet peppers (red or green), kale, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, cantaloupe.
RDA: 90 mg for men; 70 mg for women (85 mg during pregnancy and 120 mg when breast-feeding).

Vitamin D

Eye benefits of vitamin D: may reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Food sources: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, milk; orange juice fortified with vitamin D.
RDA: None, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 400 IU per day for infants, children and adolescents, and many experts recommend higher daily intakes for adults.

The best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun stimulates production of vitamin D in human skin, and just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight each day (without sunscreen) will insure your body is producing adequate amounts of vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Eye benefits of vitamin E: when combined with carotenoids and vitamin C, may reduce the risk of advanced AMD.
Food sources: Almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts.
RDA: 15 mg for teens and adults (15 mg for women during pregnancy and 19 mg when breast-feeding).
Zinc

Eye benefits of zinc: helps vitamin A reduce the risk of night blindness; may play a role in reducing risk of advanced AMD.
Food sources: Oysters, beef, Dungeness crab, turkey (dark meat).
RDA: 11 mg for men; 8 mg for women (11 mg during pregnancy and 12 mg when breast-feeding).

Eye Vitamins?

If you plan to begin a regimen of eye vitamins, be sure to discuss this with your Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs optometrist. According to Dr. Stacey Filippo Tyran, Wink Optical Optometrist, taking too much of certain vision supplements can cause problems, especially if you are taking prescription medications for health issues.

It All Comes Down to Fish, Colorful Vegetables and Fruits

In summary, it all comes down to getting nutrients through a healthy diet, including at least two servings of fish per week and plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Wink Optical Optometrist Dr. Stacey Filippo Tyran

Questions about Eye Health? 

Visit your Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs optometrist. You can count on family-owned Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs for expert service, top optometrists and a full range of the latest frames at the best prices.

Center City and South Philadelphia, Bensalem, East Norriton, Ardmore and Wink Optical in Jenkintown PA philadelphiaeyeglasslabs.com

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Healthy Eyes for the New Year

Jeepers creepers where’d ya get those healthy peepers?

Flip the calendar, turn the page, wipe the slate clean, start fresh – dozens of expressions have been coined to celebrate the feeling of starting something new. You have your eyes for a lifetime. Start following these 7 simple tips in the new year and maintain healthy eyes well into your golden years.

  1. Have an annual eye exam. Eyes aren’t like teeth – there’s usually no pain if something is wrong. Many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.
  2. Be cool and wear your shades. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory – but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When getting sunglasses look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
  3.  Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.
  4. Protect those peepers. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports and doing activities around the home. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. If protective eyewear is required as a part of your job make a habit of wearing it at all times.
  5.  Know your family’s eye health history.  Talk to family members about their eye health history – it’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye condition.  Since many are hereditary this will help your optometrist determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease.
  6.  Wash, wash, wash your hands. Prevent eye infections by washing your hands before touching  eyes and before handling contact lenses. Teach children to avoid touching their eyes without washing their hands first.  If you are near someone with red eye, avoid contact around your own eyes until you wash your hands first. You can minimize the likelihood of catching common bacterial or viral eye infections by using anti-infective sprays and cleansers in public areas.
  7.  Have an eye doctor who knows you and the history of your eyes to ensure you get the right care at the right time. Stop by soon and get to know our team of on-site optometrists at Wink – your Neighborhood Optical Center.

Copyright 2017 wink-optical.com