What are the Best Vitamins for Eye Health?

K. Gierok

Deterioration in eye health is often seen as an inevitable process, especially in older adults. Those who wish to support eye health, however, may be able to do so by including several vitamins in their diet. One of the best vitamins for eye health is vitamin A, which is essential for retinal health. In addition, vitamin C, which is found in citrus fruits, and zinc, which is found in meat and vegetarian protein sources is also important for eye health. For best results, a combination of these vitamins is essential.

Anatomy of the human eye.
Anatomy of the human eye.

One of the best vitamins for eye health is vitamin A. Vitamin A has been found to be especially important for the health of the retina, which is the part of the eye that indicates light changes. In order to function properly, the rods and cones found within the retina require high amounts of vitamin A to communicate with the nervous system.

Common wisdom has always said that eating carrots is good for the eyes.
Common wisdom has always said that eating carrots is good for the eyes.

In healthy adults, the liver is able to store enough vitamin A to last for a year, and therefore deficiency is usually quite rare. Those who have a poorly functioning liver, however, are often encouraged to consume foods rich in vitamin A, as stores may not be as plentiful. Great examples of foods rich in vitamin A include carrots and sweet potatoes.

Eating citrus fruits, which contain Vitamin C, may help keep your eyes healthy.
Eating citrus fruits, which contain Vitamin C, may help keep your eyes healthy.

Vitamin C is another of the most important vitamins for eye health. This vitamin is not only found in high amounts in the eye, but is also essential to help protect the eye from the development of macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other similar retina diseases. In addition, vitamin C also helps to decrease intraocular pressure through its ability to increase acidity in the blood. Vitamin C is commonly found in oranges, limes, lemons, and other citrus fruits.

Vitamin C, found in fruits like oranges, has been known to contribute to eye health.
Vitamin C, found in fruits like oranges, has been known to contribute to eye health.

One of the more important minerals that should be included along with other vitamins for eye health is zinc. While vitamins are used primarily in the prevention of disease, zinc is used to prevent deterioration of the retinas that occurs naturally with age. In fact, zinc is commonly used to prevent the development of cataract disease, which typically occurs only in old age. Zinc is found most commonly in meats such as beef, chicken, and even pork, but can also be found in foods such as beans and some dairy products. The concentration of zinc, however, is not as high in these vegetarian sources as in meats.

Zinc is commonly used to prevent the development of cataract disease, which typically occurs only in old age.
Zinc is commonly used to prevent the development of cataract disease, which typically occurs only in old age.

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