Our diet has a tremendous effect on our health and general well-being. Unbalanced diet affects our health and functioning of other organs too. Eyes are complex organs which have to be taken special care of. They need different nutrients and vitamins so that they function properly. But which foods can you support your eyes? Which nutrients and which vitamins are good for dry eye? Let’s find out.
1. Vitamin A for Dry Eyes
Vitamin A plays an important role in enhancing vision by maintaining a clear cornea. Vitamin A is a component of rhodopsin, a protein that enables your eyes to see in low light too. Even, studies show that vitamin A eye drops are quite effective for curing dry eyes.
Vitamin A deficiency can lead to a serious condition called xerophthalmia. This is an eye disease which begins with night blindness. If vitamin A deficiency continues, your tear ducts and eyes dry out. This leads to softening of the cornea, resulting in irreversible blindness (1).
It is better to eat natural foods that contain Vitamin A rather than going for supplements.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin A are Sweet Potatoes, Green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, and Bell peppers.
[Read: Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes]
2. Vitamin E for Dry Eyes
Many eye conditions are caused due to oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps the cells of the eye from damage by free radicals, which are unstable and harmful molecules.
A diet that includes adequate vitamin E is recommended to maintain proper eye health. Some vitamin-E-rich foods include nuts, seeds, and cooking oils. Salmon, avocado and leafy green vegetables are also good sources of Vitamin E.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your eyes against damaging free radicals (2)
Citrus and tropical fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, and kale have high amounts of vitamin C, making them great options to boost your daily diet.
Another B vitamin studied in relation to eye health is riboflavin (vitamin B2). As an antioxidant, riboflavin has the potential to reduce oxidative stress in your body, including your eyes (3).
1.1–1.3 mg of riboflavin per day is the recommended dosage. It’s usually easy to achieve this amount, as many foods are high in riboflavin. Some of these foods include oats, milk, yogurt, beef, and fortified cereals.
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. The cell membranes of your retina contain a high concentration of DHA, a particular type of omega-3.
Besides helping in the formation of the cells of your eye, omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory properties which may play a role in the prevention of diabetic retinopathy.
Omega-3 fats may also benefit individuals with dry eye by enabling more production of tears omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, include foods like fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, soy and nuts as a part of your diet. Omega-3s can also be found in cooking oils such as canola oil and olive oil.
This is an important mineral that helps get vitamin A from the liver to the retina to make a compound called melanin. Melanin is a pigment that protects the eyes. When you don’t get enough zinc, your eyes are at a higher risk of infection.
As your body doesn’t make zinc naturally, getting it through food is important.
You can get a zinc boost from foods like Oysters, Beef, Lobster, Pork, Yogurt, Salmon, Milk, Fortified cereals and Eggs are foods that are rich in Zinc.
7. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These two antioxidants protect the eyes from various chronic eye diseases. These help in keeping the cells of the eye healthy and working well. You can get them by eating eggs, corn, and leafy greens like Kale, Broccoli, Spinach and Collards.
A supplement may help here, too. Still, talk to your doctor before you take one.
[Read: Health Benefits of Broccoli]
How To Prevent Dry Eyes
Dry eye can be prevented in the below-given ways.
- Avoid windy places
- Use a humidifier during winters
- Rest your eyes.
- Avoid reading during nights, watching TV, and using the computer.
- Stay away from cigarette smoke.
- Use warm compresses and later, wash your eyelids.
Dry eye is uncomfortable, and it can lead to serious consequences. If you find that your eyes are often dry, irritated, red, or gritty, or your vision is blurry, seek the advice of your doctor for diagnosis and treatment suggestions. There are many possible ways to treat dry eyes and get relief.
The best way to prevent dry eye syndrome is to modify your diet. Replace high-sugar and processed food with the food recommendations mentioned in this article. Processed foods and high-sugar food tend to increase inflammation and worsen the symptoms of dry eye.
Eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated and have a wholesome food not only to keep healthy eyes but also to maintain good complete health.