We all want to enjoy healthy eyes and clear vision for as long as we possibly can. Fortunately, there are things that we can do to help make this possible. This includes taking supplements to help ensure that we get the right nutrition for our eyes to be as healthy as they can be.
There are many effective and expert-recommended nutritional supplements that are designed to support optimal eye health, but current and past smokers need to take formulations that do NOT have beta carotene. These supplements (AREDS 2 Formulations) are good for BOTH non-smokers as well as past and current smokers. Some of these include:
- Baush & Lomb's Preservision AREDS 2 Formula
- Systane I-Caps AREDS 2 Formula
- EVOA AREDS2 Supplemental Eye Vitamins
- MacuHealth PLUS+
- Ocuvite Eye Health Formula
- EyePromise AREDS 2 Plus Multi-vitamin
Eating a healthy diet that is high in these nutrients is best for ocular health: lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, C, E, zinc, copper, and beta-carotene.Lutein
are powerful carotenoids and antioxidants
that defend your body against unstable molecules called free radicals. In excess, free radicals can damage your cells, contribute to aging. Antioxidants reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts
. Omega-3 fatty acids
are anti-oxidants that help improve the immune system and brain function, help in the development of the eye and retina and help maintain a healthy tear film. Vitamin A
is critical for vision as an essential component of rhodopsin, the light-sensitive protein in the retina that responds to light entering the eye. It also benefits our immune
system and supports the normal functioning of the conjunctival membranes and cornea by soothing eye inflammation. Vitamin C
plays an important role in the eye itself, protecting against UV light damage and also helps protect against oxidative damage. Vitamin E
: Research suggests that frequent consumption of Vitamin E helps to protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and even cataracts in some instances. Zinc
helps vitamin A
create a pigment called melanin, which protects your eye
. There is some evidence that zinc supplements
, when used in combination with antioxidant vitamins, slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration
, but zinc consumption must be kept at safe levels.Copper
, acting as an antioxidant, encourages the development of flexible connective tissue for proper eye structure. It binds with zinc, and the two should be supplemented together in safe amounts.Beta-carotene
is a provitamin carotenoid
that helps give yellow vegetables their bright pigmentation and is also good for our vision and overall growth and development. Beta-carotene converts into Vitamin A in the body, and as a carotenoid, beta-carotene reduces the oxidative stress put on our eyes from blue light emitted by the sun and our various devices. It is best for past or current smokers to obtain their nutritional beta-carotene from WHOLE FOODS
, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than in a supplement form.
Why do I need to take nutritional supplements for my eyes?
Just like the rest of our body, our eyes need to receive a comprehensive influx of nutrients, including specific vitamins and minerals, to remain healthy. Over time, a lack of these could significantly increase the likelihood of us experiencing eye health and vision problems. Antioxidants are essential for helping to combat oxidative stress that can negatively affect the cells of our body, including our eyes. The severity of these can vary, but they could be sufficient enough to affect our ability to work and our quality of life. Some people are naturally at greater risk of specific eye problems through their activities or their familial history, but these could be partly negated by eating the right nutrients.
In summary, meals that contain nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, C, E, zinc, copper, and beta-carotene make up a healthy eye diet!