The Top 10 Best Vitamins for Eye Health

Team Health Cages

Updated on:

what vitamins are good for eye health

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is fundamental for your eyes. It helps keep the cornea (the external piece of your eye) clear so you can see well. It’s likewise a piece of an exceptional protein called rhodopsin that helps you see in the dark.

Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in wealthy nations, but it can result in xerophthalmia, a serious eye condition. It starts with trouble seeing around evening time, and on the off chance that you don’t fix it, your eyes can get dry, and you could try, and you might even go blind.

Vitamin A also helps prevent other eye issues, similar to cataracts and AMD. Instead of taking pills, it’s better to get vitamin A from sweet potatoes, leafy greens, pumpkin, and bell peppers. Eating these food sources is great for your eyes

2. Vitamin E

Our eyes can have issues given something many refer to as oxidative pressure, which is the point at which there’s an awkwardness between beneficial things (cell reinforcements) and terrible things (free extremists) in our bodies.

Vitamin E is like a superhero that fights against the bad guys (free radicals) and helps keep our eye cells safe from damage. There was a study that lasted seven years with over 3,600 people who had an eye issue called AMD. They found that taking 400 IU (that’s like a measurement) of vitamin E, along with some other stuff, in a daily supplement called AREDS, reduced the chance of the eye problem getting worse by 25%.

There’s also some information suggesting that eating foods with a lot of vitamin E might help stop cataracts that come with getting older. But some studies say the opposite, so we need more research to be sure.

Either way, it’s a good idea to eat foods with vitamin E to keep our eyes healthy. Nuts, seeds, cooking oils, salmon, avocado, and leafy greens are good choices

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C and some other good stuff are in a supplement called AREDS, which can help people with an eye problem called AMD. If you take it every day, one study says it might lower the risk of the eye problem getting worse by 25%.

Vitamin C is also important because it helps make collagen, a protein that gives structure to your eye, especially in the cornea and sclera.

There are studies that suggest vitamin C can lower the chance of getting cataracts, which make your eyes cloudy and mess up your vision. In one study, having more than 490 mg of vitamin C daily reduced the risk of cataracts by 75%, compared to having 125 mg or less. Another study found that taking regular vitamin C supplements could lower the risk of cataracts by 45%. So, having enough vitamin C is good for your eyes

4. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12

Scientists have looked into how certain B vitamins like B6, B9, and B12 can affect our eyes. These vitamins, when taken together, seem to lower the levels of a protein called homocysteine in our body. High levels of homocysteine might be linked to inflammation and a higher chance of getting AMD, which is an eye problem.

In a study with women, they found a 34% lower risk of getting AMD when taking 1,000 mcg (that’s a measurement) of vitamin B12 along with B6 and B9.

But, we need more research to be sure these vitamins really help. And, it’s not clear if just eating foods with lots of vitamin B would give the same benefits. So, we’re still figuring it out

5. Riboflavin

Another B vitamin that scientists have looked into for eye health is riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2. Riboflavin works like a superhero antioxidant that can help reduce stress in our body, including our eyes.

Researchers are particularly interested in whether riboflavin can prevent cataracts, a condition where our eyes become cloudy. Not having enough riboflavin for a long time might lead to cataracts. Interestingly, many people with cataracts are also low on this antioxidant.

In one study, they found a 31–51% lower risk of getting cataracts when people had 1.6–2.2 mg of riboflavin per day in their diets, compared to those who had only 0.08 mg per day.

Getting 1.1–1.3 mg of riboflavin every day isn’t hard, because many foods contain it. Examples include oatmeal, milk, yogurt, beef, and fortified cereals.

6. Niacin

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, helps turn the food we eat into energy and acts like a superhero antioxidant in our body.

Some studies have suggested that niacin might help prevent a condition called glaucoma, where the optic nerve in our eye gets damaged. One study in Korea found that people who didn’t get enough niacin in their diet had a higher risk of glaucoma. Another study with animals showed that taking a lot of niacin supplements could also prevent glaucoma.

However, we still need more research to be sure about the connection between niacin and glaucoma.

But be careful with niacin supplements! Taking too much, like 1.5–5 grams per day, can cause problems for your eyes, like blurred vision and damage to the cornea. It’s better to get niacin from natural sources like beef, poultry, fish, mushrooms, peanuts, and legumes in your regular diet, which is safe and healthy for your eyes.

7. Lutein and zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are like protective superheroes for your eyes, part of a group of helpful compounds made by plants.

These eye superheroes hang out in the macula and retina of your eyes, and their job is to filter out the potentially harmful blue light, keeping your eyes safe.

Some studies suggest that these plant superheroes can prevent cataracts and slow down eye problems like AMD. In a study, people with cataracts who took lutein supplements three times a week for two years saw improvements in their vision.

We’re not exactly sure how much lutein and zeaxanthin you need every day, but studies show that even a little, like 6 mg, can be good for your eyes. You can find these superheroes in fruits and veggies, especially in cooked spinach, kale, and collard greens. So, eating these foods can naturally give your eyes the protection they need

8. Thiamine

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is like a superhero that helps our cells work properly and turns our food into energy.

It might be good at lowering the chance of getting cataracts, which make our eyes cloudy. A study in Australia with almost 3,000 people found that a diet high in thiamine could reduce the risk of cataracts by 40%. Eating enough protein, vitamin A, niacin, and riboflavin might also help protect against cataracts.

Thiamine is also being looked at as a possible treatment for the early stages of an eye problem called diabetic retinopathy. A study found that taking 100 mg of thiamine three times a day reduced signs of diabetic retinopathy in people with type 2 diabetes.

You can get thiamine from foods like whole grains, meat, and fish. Some foods, like breakfast cereals, bread, and pasta, also have thiamine added to them to make sure we get enough. So, eating these foods helps keep our eyes healthy

9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a special kind of healthy fat. They’re like the building blocks for the cells in your eyes, especially a type called DHA found in your retina.

These fats also have the power to calm down inflammation, which might help prevent an eye problem called diabetic retinopathy. Studies suggest that eating a lot of oily fish, like in the Mediterranean diet, could protect against this eye issue, but we still need more research to be sure.

Omega-3s can also help people with dry eyes by making them produce more tears. When you don’t have enough tears, your eyes can feel dry, uncomfortable, and sometimes blurry.

You can get more omega-3s in your diet by eating fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, soy, and nuts. Cooking oils like canola and olive oil also have these good fats. So, adding these foods to your meals can keep your eyes healthy

10. Zinc

Zinc is like a superhero mineral for our eyes. It keeps our retina, cell membranes, and eye proteins healthy.

Zinc helps vitamin A travel from our liver to our retina, where it makes a protective pigment called melanin. This pigment shields our eyes from harmful UV light.

For people with a condition called AMD or those at risk, taking 40–80 mg of zinc daily, along with certain antioxidants, might slow down the worsening of the problem by 25%, according to the American Optometric Association. It could also lower the loss of clear vision by 19%.
You can find zinc in foods like seafood (oysters, crab, lobster), turkey, beans, chickpeas, nuts, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, milk, and fortified cereals. So, eating these foods is good for your eyes.