Natural foods pack a lot of nutrients that nourish our body and help maintain optimal health of all our tissues. Eyes are also affected by the goodness of the foods that we eat. Vision boosting and eye protecting vitamins are a well-researched topic. There are many vitamins that when made a part of the regular diet can help in keeping your eyes healthy and functioning well. And the best part is that these vitamins are freely available in the foods that we eat daily.
Here are seven best vitamins to keep your eyes healthy:
1. The most important vitamin for the eyes is Vitamin A. This is actually a group of antioxidants that positively affect our vision, bones and our immune system. Non vegetarian sources of the vitamin are beef, liver, milk and cheese.The orange, yellow and green fruits and vegetables give us carotene that is converted to retinol in our body quite efficiently. Spinach, coriander leaves, mint, amaranth, methi, pumpkin, carrots, ripe mango and papaya are all rich sources of carotene. Vitamin A protects our cornea, the surface of the eye and is essential for good vision. It also plays a role in preventing age related macular degeneration of the eyes.
Orange, yellow and green fruits and vegetables give us carotene; Photo Credit: iStock
2. Vitamin C, abundantly found in food, is one of the most powerful antioxidants for our body. It maintains the integrity of our connective tissues, and the collagen in the cornea. It is essential for maintaining the health of our blood vessels, which also include the delicate blood vessels in the retina. Studies have shown a positive correlation between Vitamin C and a reduced risk of cataract and vision loss due to macular degeneration. Good food sources include, cabbage, coriander leaves, capsicum, green chillies, guava, and amla.
Studies have shown a positive correlation between Vitamin C and vision; Photo Credit: iStock
3. Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is essential for the skin health as it effects the collagen formation and is also known to prevent cataracts. It is essential for the oxidation and reduction chemical reactions in our body. Sources rich in this vitamin include beef, salmon, eggs and lamb in non-vegetarian food and milk, mushrooms, spinach, almonds, and sundried tomatoes in vegetarian.
Vitamin B2 is known to prevent cataracts; Photo Credit: iStock
4. Vitamin B3 or Niacin is a co-enzyme for metabolism of carbs, fats and amino acids. It acts as an anti-oxidant to prevent cataracts. Diets rich in processed foods can lead to a deficiency of this vital nutrient. Peanuts, green peas, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, tuna, chicken breast and turkey breast are good sources.
Diets rich in processed foods can lead to a deficiency of this vital nutrient; Image credit: Istock
5. Vitamin B6 and B12 are very essential for nervous system function and metabolism and keep your eyes, hair, liver and skin healthy. B12 deficiency can cause damage to the optic nerve. Meats are the best source for both these vitamins. B6 is also found in chickpeas, Brussel sprouts, cooked spinach and raw red pepper are also good sources.
B6 is also found in chickpeas, Brussel sprouts, etc. Image credit: Istock
6. Folic acid, helps the body make new cells by playing a role in copying and synthesizing DNA. Deficiency of folic acid causes anaemia and increases the risk of birth defects in pregnant women. A deficiency of this vitamin may lead to optic nerve degeneration. Green leafy vegetables like amaranth, mint, spinach, legumes, nuts and liver are good sources of this essential nutrient.
A deficiency of this vitamin may lead to optic nerve degeneration; Image credit: Istock
7. Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidant system of our body. It is found in the lens of our eye and the retina. Deficiency of this vitamin has been linked to the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration of the eye. Vitamin E deficiency is rare. It is found in vegetable oils, wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazel nuts.
Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, wheat germ, almonds, etc. Photo credit: Istock
Our eye health depends on the quality of food we eat, just like any other organ of the body. Supplementation of vitamins should only be done under the guidance of a health practitioner. Prevention is any ways better than cure, so eating a nourishing diet and including a lot of fresh foods in your diet will benefit your eyes to
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