Food for Sight: Nutrients and the Eye - Part One.
Most people feel that their ability to see is the most important sense they have. There are many nutrients that promote eye health and in this blog segment, we are going to go through the most important ways to maintain the health of our eyes.
Of all the nutrients necessary for eye health, carotenoids are the most important. This includes lutein and zeazanthin.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are pigments that are abundant to the macula, which is the central part of the retina that allows us to see fine central vision. Their role in the eyes is to absorb blue and UV light and protecting the macula from harmful light rays. Research has shown that lutein can improve visual function in people with age related macular degeneration (AMD). You may have heard of the AREDS 2 formula, which is a formulation of nutrients that together make up a multi-vitamin for the eyes specifically for decreasing the risk of AMD progression. This vitamin, along with environmental changes and diet, can help decrease the risk for existing patients.
Our bodies however, cannot make lutein and zeaxanthin and therefore, we have to consume it through diet or supplements. Green leafy vegetables including kale and spinach are rich in lutein. Below, we provided a chart which describes what types of foods are optimal for eye health.
An Overview of Eye Nutrients
*Table from EYEFOODS Another great resource about nutrition and the eyes is from a book written by two Optometrists (Dr.Laurie Capogna, and Dr. Barbara Pelletier). This book "EYEFOODS" is available at both our offices and provides abundant information in great detail. This concludes our first blog! We know there is a lot of information to cover especially with nutrition and the eyes. Look forward to our future blog segments which will include more information on the type of foods that are good for your eyes! References Capogna, L., et al (2011). Eye foods. Canada, LB Media Concepts.