Give your eyes the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay in shape

November 01, 2011

Family wearing glasses

Many of you know what it takes to keep your heart healthy. Or what exercises you can do to increase muscle strength. But do you know how to protect and strengthen your eyes? Your eyes are one of your most cherished possessions. So, you need to discover the many ways to care for your eye health. A variety of oils, minerals and vitamins found in many foods can help you. For example, your eyes may benefit from fish oil. You can add fish oil to your diet by eating fish or by taking supplements. The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help reduce pain or swelling around the eyes. Fish oil may also help in treating dry eyes. It also has been used to treat glaucoma.

Fish oil may also help prevent an age-related vision disease called macular degeneration. Macular degeneration causes vision loss in the center of your field of vision. This is a common condition that affects older people. However, high doses may have harmful effects, such as an increased risk of bleeding. Be sure to talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your diet.

According to WebMD.com, there are other vitamins and minerals that may offer benefits, including:

  • Zinc, which is in red meat, wheat-based products, and oysters.
  • Selenium, which is in seafood, yeast, and nuts.
  • Lutein, which is in spinach and collard greens.
  • Bioflavonoids, which is in citrus fruits, strawberries, and other foods high in Vitamin C.
  • Carotenoids, which are usually found in red, orange, and yellow fruits. There are also carotenoids in green, leafy vegetables like spinach.

Foods rich in these minerals and vitamins help improve your overall eye health. But sometimes, it's difficult to get all these vitamins and minerals into your diet. So you may need to add vitamin supplements to get the full benefits.

These days, you may notice other foods and supplements that claim to improve your eyesight. Be cautious of those products' promises. Claims about the benefits of certain vitamins aren't always supported by real research. For example, some people claim that bilberries improve their night vision. There is no proof to back up that claim.

So take care of your eyes. Ask your eye doctor about the vitamins they need to stay healthy.

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