The Connection Between Nutrition and Eye Health

We choose different solutions for our eyesight problems based on how well we can see. From keeping up with trips to the optometrist to making sure our favorite stylish prescription eyeglasses are up to date, there are so many steps to take on the journey to clear vision.

But one step you may not be considering along the way involves much more than what you put on your body but also involves what you feed into your body.

Just like the rest of your body, your nutrition and overall health and well-being can play a crucial role in maintaining your vision and the functionality of your eyes. In other words, what you eat can be the key to keeping up with your eye health. If you’re curious to learn more about this interesting connection between nutrition and eye health, we’re here to help.

We’ll break it down in detail below and leave you with some helpful ways to keep up with your nutrition and maintain your ability to see clearly. Keep reading to learn more.

The Importance of What You Eat (Eye Health)

As we age, our bodies naturally tend to slow down. From less collagen production to achier joints, we will physically see and experience this process. One part of aging that is often discussed is the worsening of our vision. Between developing AMD, also known as age-related macular degeneration, experiencing glaucoma, or suffering from chronic dry eyes, there are plenty of issues at play that can affect your clear vision.

But while aging is inevitable (along with the wisdom that comes with it), there are ways that your nutrition can help slow down this process. One such method is increasing the intake of certain nutrients within your diet.

There are several vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats that have been tied directly to the health and performance of your eyes. We’ll break it down below.

Supplements for Better Vision & Eye Health

  • Vitamin C & Vitamin E: A favorite super-vitamin, Vitamin C has been linked to reduced risk of developing cataracts and slowing age-related vision loss. Another superstar, Vitamin E works to protect against free radicals and other potentially harmful agents that can damage the eyes and affect the vision.
  • Essential Fatty Acids: Also known as omega-3s, essential fatty acids play an important part in both developing and maintaining vision. They are said to work directly within the retina, keeping your vision clear and focus steady.
  • Other Healthy Fats: Along with omega-3s, other essential healthy fats can be found within whole grains, known as lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients have been shown to lower the risk of developing cataracts and other chronic eye conditions.
  • Calcium: A new player in the world of eye health, calcium has recently been linked to the prevention of age-related macular degeneration.
  • Zinc: Zinc plays a vital role in transporting vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Ensure adequate intake of zinc to support optimal eye health and function. Foods rich in zinc include red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, and nuts.

  • Easy Ways to Eat for Your Eyes

    Now that we’ve covered the basics of nutrition and eye health, let’s talk about how you can eat to protect your vision. As we mentioned before, several key elements can help protect your eyes, from vitamins C and E to essential fatty acids.

    By increasing the presence of these nutrients in your diet, you can keep your body supplied with the tools to fight against worsening vision. Here are a few easy ways to help you better eat for your eyes.

    Invest in Healthy Fats

    Contrary to what we may have been told in the 90s, not all fats are bad. Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in oily fish, and omega-6 fatty acids, like those found in nuts and seed oils, are a great way to add more healthy fats to your diet.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for eye health, particularly in preventing dry eyes and macular degeneration.

    Try swapping one of your meals for a delicious salmon cooked with nut oil or add a handful of nuts to your daily snacking rotation or consider incorporating fish into your meals at least twice a week to reap the benefits of these essential fatty acids.

    Boost Your Calcium Intake

    One nutrient that has been recently shown to be tied to eye health is calcium. While we all know that calcium is great for our bone health, there are recent studies that have shown promising signs of how it can potentially help prevent AMD. Slip in some extra calcium-dense foods, such as seeds, nuts, and leafy greens, to maximize the amazing effects of calcium on the health of your eyes.

    Mediterranean Diet Eye Benefits

    If you’re all-in on changing up your diet to support your eye health and overall well-being in general, it might be worth it to take a closer look at the Mediterranean diet.

    This diet involves eating mostly plants and seafood, with a focus on nut oils and olive oils for cooking purposes. The Mediterranean diet has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in addition to having other heart-healthy effects.

    Antioxidants for Eye Health

    There’s no doubt that you’ve come across the phrase ‘antioxidants’ at some point in your life and are well aware of their powerful effects. These nutrients can be found in a wide variety of foods, from fruits and vegetables to whole grains, and play a crucial role in our overall health.

    Antioxidants work in the body to protect against cellular damage, keeping vital processes running correctly and efficiently. Try adding a little extra of your favorite fruits and veggies or whole grains to your daily meal rotation to reap the amazing benefits of these powerful nutrients.

    Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two notable antioxidants that help protect the eyes from harmful blue light and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. 

    Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin include leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens, as well as eggs and corn. Aim to consume these foods regularly to maintain optimal levels of these eye-protective nutrients.


    While regular trips to the optometrist and updates to your prescription eyeglasses are an important part of maintaining clear vision, it’s important to remember the crucial role that nutrition can play.

    By eating the right balance of foods and ensuring that you are getting the proper nutrients, such as vitamins C and E as well as omega-3’s, you can slow down age-related vision changes and wear your favorite designer prescription eyeglasses for much longer without the need for a prescription update.

    Additionally, don't forget the importance of staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and avoiding smoking, to further protect your eyesight. Prioritize your eye health today by making informed dietary choices and incorporating these eye-friendly nutrients into your meals.

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