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For such small organs, your eyes actually do quite a lot for you, don’t they? How would you process the world if you couldn’t see it? Surely, you’d have to rely on your other senses. But, for those who are able to see… your eyes inform every single thing you do.

Everything you see, everything you remember… starts with your eyes. Healthy vision is important. But when your vision begins to decline, is there anything you can do to preserve it?

If you’ve always been able to see clearly, you can’t imagine what it might be like without healthy eyes. Seek regular eye care and practice good nutrition to support the health of your eyes.

If you start noticing a decrease in the quality of your vision, see an optometrist immediately.

What Do Optometrists Say About Preserving Your Eye Health? 

Of course, there are many tips to help you support good eye health. Below you’ll find a list of common advice from optometrists.

  • improve your vision | Gundry MDRefrain from smoking
  • Wear appropriate sunglasses to help block UV light
  • Draw shades if the glare from the window is too bright
  • Wear safety goggles if you work with hazardous materials
  • Wear safety goggles when playing sports
  • Regularly close your eyes to rest
  • At work, make sure the top of your monitor is level with your eyes (so you’re mostly looking down at your work)1

Of course, optometrists aren’t wrong here. Those are great tips. But what about all the ways in which the right vitamins and minerals might be able to help keep your eyes strong?

Can Certain Nutrients Help Your Eyes?

It’s often said that health starts with what you put in your body, to begin with. Different foods can help supply specific vitamins and minerals.

The following nutrients may be beneficial when it comes to supporting healthy eyes.

  • β-carotene
  • Antioxidants
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E 2

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration can affect the central part of your retina. This centerpiece of the retina, called the macula, is important. And when it starts to degenerate, your vision can become distorted. Some even lose their central vision altogether.

What happens during macular degeneration?

The macula forms the back layer of your eye. This is the portion of your eye that actually records images and sends them to your brain.

When the macula deteriorates, your vision becomes compromised. Unfortunately, there isn’t actually a cure for macular degeneration yet.

improve your vision | Gundry MD

Your macula is made up of cells that can recognize light and convert it into electrical signals. These electric signals get translated by the brain and form the images your mind tells you that you see. Your macula is responsible for helping you accomplish many tasks.

  • Reading
  • Driving
  • Making out objects in fine detail
  • Recognizing faces
  • Distinguishing colors

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Caring for your eyes should be a priority at any age, but especially as you get older. Age-related macular degeneration is not uncommon. It is possible that age-related macular degeneration can develop gradually. In fact, it really can be unnoticeable at first.

improve your vision | Gundry MDThere are cases where age-related macular degeneration comes on fast. One day you see relatively clearly and the next your vision can be nearly gone. If you notice a blurry spot in the middle of your field of vision… it could be a tell-tale sign of age-related macular degeneration.

You may also notice what you see seems dull or ill-defined. If your vision seems to blur or darken, or you have any concerns regarding the health of your eyes, call your optometrist as soon as possible.

Can Foods Naturally Support Your Eye Health?

If you hope to stave off the deterioration of your eyesight, make sure you’re getting all the right vitamins and minerals, as well as regular eye care. Here is a list of some vitamins and minerals that may be able to support healthy eyes and eyesight.

  • Zinc
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Lutein
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

So, where do you find these nutrients? See the list below!

5 Great Foods For Eye Health

1. Raw Carrots

What’s up doc? It may seem cliché, but carrots really are your eyes’ best friends. Why? Because carrots are full of beta carotene. And your body can turn Beta carotene into vitamin A.

Vitamin A is great for formings the necessary proteins needed in your body’s ‘cone cells’ and ‘rod cells’. These are special cells found in the back of your eyes. Cone cells are important for processing the light of day. Rod cells are essential for processing dark light.

When light hits your cone or rod cells, electric signals are sent to your brain. This is how your brain knows what it is you see.3 If you don’t get the vitamin A you need, you might experience night blindness. This is when your eyes can’t focus in low light environments.4

improve your vision | Gundry MD

2. Omega-3 and Pastured Eggs

When it comes to lutein and zeaxanthin, look no further than the yolks of omega-3 and pastured eggs. These eggs are brimming with healthy fats and protein. Carotenoids are nutrients. They’re responsible for giving a bright color to several different fruits and veggies.

While you can find carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin in several fruits and veggies, many of them contain gut-damaging lectins. The lutein and zeaxanthin in omega-3 and pastured eggs are lectin-free, and easier to digest and absorb.

So go ahead and make an omelet. And for an extra lutein and zeaxanthin kick toss in some broccoli and spinach. Your eyes will appreciate it.

improve your vision | Gundry MD3. Greens, Greens, And More Greens

As mentioned above, carotenoids can be found in many fruits and vegetables. These nutrients are important antioxidants. Both kale and spinach are rich with lutein. The following Gundry-approved foods also contain these special antioxidants:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Collard greens
  • Parsley

Why do lutein and zeaxanthin matter so much for eye health? Your macula contains relatively high amounts of both antioxidants. And lutein helps your eyes process blue light. And in this day and age with screens in your hands at all times, you need help processing as much blue light as possible.

Vision Foods | Gundry MD

4. Wild-Caught Salmon

Have you ever heard of DHA? Otherwise known as Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found in wild-caught salmon. It exists throughout your whole body. Your brain and heart contain a lot of DHA. But so do your eyes. DHA is responsible for over 9% of the omega-3 fats in your retina.6

DHA is fat that helps support eye health and keeps your retinas functioning as they should.7

Recent research points to positive outcomes when higher doses of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids are used to delay age-related macular degeneration. For those over 50, age-related macular degeneration is the primary cause of blindness.8

improve your vision | Gundry MD

5. You Say Oysters, I Say Ersters (Don’t Call the Whole Thing Off)

Oysters are one of the most significant sources of zinc out there. And zinc is an essential mineral that can have several potential benefits including:

  • Supporting a healthy immune system
  • Helping to process vitamin A
  • Helping to fight against free radical damage
  • Support healthy eyes

An additional benefit zinc may provide is supporting the production of pigment. Lack of pigment is related to reduced clarity in your central field of vision.9,10

improve your vision | Gundry MD

Better Eats For Better Eyes 

Bottom line: Eating right might help your sight. You now know of certain foods that may be able to support healthy eyes and eyesight. Try making meals that focus on foods high in the following nutrients:

  • Zinc
  • β-carotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Antioxidants

And in the event that you notice discomfort in your eyes or sudden changes in your ability to see things clearly… consult your doctor immediately.

Sources
1 https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips#i
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21609225
3 http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/06/02/529142959/do-carrots-really-help-your-vision
4 http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/2/461.full.pdf
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11437346
6 http://www.lifesdha.com/en_US/facts.html
7 http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/macular-degeneration
8 https://www.puroomega.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/TASSOS_Omega3-high-dose-and-AMD.pdf
9 https://nei.nih.gov/amd/summary
10 http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/are-crabs-and-oysters-good-for-your-eyes-20100808241

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