As it has been said for many years, eating carrots will improve your eyesight. Is this a myth, or is it a fact?
The carrot-vision connection is not just a myth. Carrots are packed with vitamin A, which is essential for good eyesight. Yet, no nutrient alone can ensure a future of crystal-clear vision.
It’s unfortunate for many that our eyesight begins to fail us as we get older. Patients worried about their eyesight should look for foods containing all of the following nutrients when they go grocery shopping.
Vitamin A/Beta Carotene
Beta carotene is an orange pigment that belongs to a class of nutrients called carotenoids. Our bodies use carotenoids to make vitamin A, which helps the retina convert light into signals processed by the brain. When taken together with vitamins C and E and the mineral zinc, beta carotene may slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Your patient can find Vitamin A or Beta Carotene in sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin, raw carrots, and even in cantaloupe.
Lutein has been found to protect the macula, the part of the retina that’s responsible for clear central vision. Lutein is found in the vitamin aisle or in leafy green such as cooked kale, cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, and cooked Brussel sprouts.
The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA protect the cells in the retina. They also help keep the eyes lubricated for people with dry eye syndrome, which also comes with age. Our eyes don’t produce enough moisture causing them to be red and irritated. Your patients can also find Omega 3 (fish oil) in the vitamin aisle, but it is better to get it straight from the source, such as salmon, tuna, anchovies, and even oysters.
Vitamin C & Vitamin E
When we think about vitamin C, we think about our immune system. Vitamin C also protects the eyes against damage from unstable molecules known as free radicals. The best vitamin C source can be found in strawberries, cooked Brussel sprouts, grapefruit, and raw broccoli.
Vitamin E also protects the eyes from free radicals. The best source of vitamin E can be found in nuts and seeds.
Zinc preserves retinal health. It also helps transport vitamin A to the retina to produce the protective pigment melanin. Zinc can be found in cooked oysters, cooked crab, fortified breakfast cereal, dark meat chicken, fruit yogurt, and milk.
It may come as no surprise that the fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, reducing dry eye symptoms.
Early treatment for eye health problems can prevent them from getting worse. So people who notice changes in their vision should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.