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Eye Benefits of Vitamins and Micronutrients

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A well-balanced diet for your eyes must consist of colorful vegetables and fruit. For good vision it's critical to include the following vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, which could protect your eyes from sight-robbing disorders and diseases.

Including these foods in your diet will assist your acquiring the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of these crucial eye nutrients. Endorsed by the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences), the RDA is the average daily dietary intake level of a nutrient sufficient to meet the needs of almost all healthy people in a certain place in life and gender group.

While the RDA is a useful resource, some eye care specialists advocate increased daily intakes of specific nutrients for those at risk for eye problems.

(In the following list, mg = milligram; mcg = microgram (1/1000 of a mg) and IU = International Unit.)


– Eye benefits of beta-carotene: Beta-carotene could decrease the advancement of macular degeneration, when taken together with zinc and vitamins C and E.
– Food sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, butternut squash.
– RDA: None (most supplements contain 5,000 to 25,000 IU).

Bioflavonoids (Flavonoids)

Eye assets of bioflavonoids: Could defend against macular degeneration and cataracts.
– Food sources: Red wine, tea, bilberries, citrus fruits, cherries, blueberries, soy products, legumes.
– RDA: None.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Eye benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin: May prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
– Food sources: Spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, squash.
-RDA: None.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

– Eye perk of omega-3 fatty acids: Could help to counter macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eyes.
– Food sources: Cold-water fish like mackerel, salmon and herring; freshly ground walnuts and flaxseeds, fish oil supplements.
– RDA: None; but for cardiovascular benefits, the American Heart Association advises about 1,000 mg daily.


– Eye plusses of selenium: May decrease the risk of advanced AMD when taken with carotenoids and vitamins C and E.
– Food sources: Brazil nuts, seafood (crab, shrimp, halibut, salmon), brown rice, enriched noodles.
– RDA: 55 mcg for teens and adults (60 mcg for women while pregnant and 70 mcg when nursing).

Vitamin A

-Eye benefits of vitamin A: Could help with dry eyes and night blindness.
– Food sources: Chicken or beef liver; butter, eggs, milk. RDA: 3,000 IU for men; 2,333 IU for women (2,567 IU while pregnant and 4,333 IU when breast-feeding).

Vitamin C

– Eye benefits of vitamin C: Could lessen the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Food sources: Kale, sweet peppers (red or green), broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges.
– RDA: 90 mg for men; 70 mg for women (85 mg during pregnancy and 120 mg when breast-feeding).

Vitamin D

– Eye benefits of vitamin D: Could counter the chance of macular degeneration.
– Food sources: Sardines, salmon, milk, mackerel, orange juice fortified with vitamin D.
– RDA: None, however,the American Academy of Pediatrics advises 400 IU per day for infants, kids and teens, and many authorities advocate higher daily intakes for adults.
– The superior source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun sparks production of vitamin D in human skin, and only a few minutes of exposure to sunlight every day (without sunblock) will insure your body is attaining the proper amounts of vitamin D.

Vitamin E

-Eye dividends of vitamin E: May lessen the risk of advanced AMD when taken together with carotenoids and vitamin C.
– Food sources: Hazelnuts, almonds sunflower seeds.
– RDA: 15 mg for teens and adults (15 mg for women when pregnant and 19 mg when nursing).


-Eye perks of zinc: Assists vitamin A lessen the chance of night blindness; could aid in reducing risk of advanced AMD.
– Food sources: Beef, oysters, turkey (dark meat), Dungeness crab.
– RDA: 11 mg for men; 8 mg for women (11 mg during pregnancy and 12 mg when breast-feeding).

Generally, it's great to get most nutrients through a healthy diet, for example, a minimum of two servings of fish per week and lots of colorful vegetables and fruits.

If you intend to start a regimen of eye vitamins, it's advisable to talk it over with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Overtaking of specific vision supplements can cause issues, particularly if you are taking prescription medications for health problems.