Eating Your Way to Healthy Eyesight
Many of us grew up being told to eat our carrots and squash because they’re rich in Vitamin A and that they’re good for the eyes. And while this nugget of truth hasn’t changed, there’s also a slew of other vitamins and minerals that our eyes need to stay nourished and protected from eye diseases.
The good news is that you don’t have to look far to get the nutrition you need for your eyes and overall health for that matter. We listed the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients essential to keeping your eyes healthy and protected from common eye problems. We also added a variety of sources–from food, snacks, to supplements–that will add color to your shopping list the next time you visit your suki, supermarket, or drugstore.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin
At the forefront of eye health nutrition are lutein and zeaxanthin whose main function is to ensure that the retina is healthy by giving it its pigment. Lutein and zeaxanthin are primarily found in the macula, aka the part of the retina that’s sensitive to light, and they help protect the eyes from the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration or loss of central vision.
Also known as AMD, age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes vision to deteriorate and may lead to loss of eyesight. It is common among older adults and may not manifest until a person reaches 50 years old. However, advanced age isn’t the sole risk factor that may cause AMD. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, high blood pressure, a diet of saturated fat, and smoking can increase the risk of getting AMD.
Where to Get It: If there’s one universal thing across any version of a healthy and balanced diet, it’s green leafy vegetables. Fortify your everyday meals with vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale all of which are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. You can also throw in squash, corn, oranges, and papayas into the rotation to make sure your retinas are taken care of. If you love eating breakfast food, elevate your meal and nutrition with eggs as the yolk is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. In fact, eggs are packed with so many nutrients including Vitamin A and Zinc, plus it’s quite filling too! It should also go without saying that it’s better to quit smoking or don’t start at all if you want to maintain your visual acuity as you get older.
- Beta Carotene and Vitamin A
Beta carotene is Vitamin A’s precursor to the body. This means when we consume food that is rich with this carotenoid, our bodies are able to synthesize it and turn it into Vitamin A.Vitamin A keeps the cells that sense light healthy so that we’re able to see well in the light and to use our night vision as well. Also known as retinols after it’s been processed by the body, Vitamin A also helps prevent dry macular degeneration and eliminates damaged cells from the body.
A severe lack of Vitamin A can be harmful to the eyesight–in fact it is one the leading causes of blindness among children worldwide and night blindness among adults. The good news is that Vitamin A deficiency is preventable through proper nutrition.
Where to Get It: If there’s one good thing that Bugs Bunny taught us, it’s that carrots are good for the body, the eyes especially. You can also get your dose of Vitamin A from oranges, strawberries, melons, and sweet potatoes. Some people get their dose of Vitamin A from dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese and you can include these in your diet as well.
- Omega-3: Omega-3 is a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are essentially healthy fats and are good for the heart. But did you know that omega-3 is good for the eyes too?Our need for DHA and EPA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids, starts as early as infancy while our brain develops as well our eyesight. In addition, omega-3 keeps our eyes lubricated thus preventing it from possible irritation and infection caused by dry eyes. A diet rich in omega-3 also helps us avoid diabetic retinopathy, a condition common among people who have diabetes wherein the retina deteriorates and the vision blurs overtime.
Where to Get It: The most common sources of omega-3 are fatty fish like sardines, tuna, and salmon. You can also get it from seeds like peanuts, lentils, flaxseed, and many other nuts, seeds, and legumes.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is on top of the list of nutrients that defend our immune system against illnesses and this protection covers our eye health as well. One of Vitamin C’s important roles in eye care is in the creation of collagen, a protein that gives the cornea and sclera structure. In terms of eye disease prevention, Adequate intake of Vitamin C helps lower the risk of developing cataracts and delay its progression when it occurs. It also helps delay age-related macular degeneration and vision loss.
Where to Get It: When it comes to Vitamin C, citrus fruits make for an automatic choice and living in a country like the Philippines is actually a great thing because of all the choices that’s available to us. Depending on the season, stock up on sources like oranges, lemons, and dalandan. You can also get Vitamin C from strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, and pineapples.
- Vitamin E
Another known antioxidant, Vitamin E protects the eyes by fighting free radicals that cause damage to healthy optic cells and tissues. It also works with other vitamins and minerals to slow down age-related macular disease and the growth of cataracts as we age.
Where to Get It: Among the best sources of Vitamin E include peanut butter, almonds, sunflower seeds, and broccoli. You can also get Vitamin E from vegetables, citrus fruits, and crops like sweet potatoes.
Our body is able to process Vitamin A with the help of zinc which results in the production of melanin, a protective pigment found in the eyes. Zinc also protects the cell membranes around the eyes from the damages of oxidative stress and the free radicals that can damage the cells.
Where to Get It: The thing with zinc is that it naturally occurs in the body and our bodies being intelligent know how much zinc it needs to produce to make sure that all bases that need it are covered. However, there are people who may need a bit of boost from food to get their zinc supply. Protein sources like beef, eggs, and pork are rich in zinc but you can also find it in beans, chickpeas (think: hummus!), and oysters.
The ClearSight Advantage
Usually, getting our vitamins and minerals through food is enough to keep our bodies healthy. And while this is the ideal scenario, it isn’t always the case for those who either have limited time or access to shop and prepare meals.
This is where ClearSight comes in. ClearSight Eye Food Supplement is made with a powerhouse combination of vitamins and minerals our body needs to keep our eyes healthy. Each ClearSight softgel is packed with lutein, omega-3, beta carotene, Vitamin E, and zinc to supplement your healthy diet. It’s also FDA-approved and safe for daily intake. Give your eye health a boost by eating a healthy diet by taking one ClearSight capsule every day and get started on taking care of your eyes better today. As a general precaution, it’s always best to consult with your doctor prior to taking any vitamins and supplements no matter your health condition, and especially if you are pregnant or are on maintenance medication.
ClearSight is available at all leading drugstores in the Philippines including Mercury Drug, Watsons, and Southstar Drug. You can also buy ClearSight through our official Shopee and Lazada stores, and via Healthmart PH and PharmEZ.