Vitamins and minerals that protect vision

Vitamins and minerals that protect vision

Tuesday, 01 March 2016
Vitamins and minerals that protect vision

When it comes to your body's health, you will know that eating a balanced diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and pulses is key to warding off conditions like obesity and diabetes. But did you know that the some of the vitamins and minerals you eat to keep your body healthy can also help to protect your vision?

Eye health is just as important as keeping your body in check, which means you should make conscious decisions to consume the right foods.

Here are a few vitamins and minerals that can keep eye problems - such as macular degeneration and cataracts - at bay:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a group of antioxidant compounds that play an important role in vision, bone growth and health of the immune system. This vitamin helps to protect the surface of the eye, making it an effective barrier to bacteria and viruses.

In 2011, a team of researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York, found that an altered form of vitamin A can help to slow the progression of Stargardt's disease - an inherited eye condition that causes severe vision loss in young people.

Sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots and red peppers are rich sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant. It is found in foods such as citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.

As well as helping to promote healthy bones and skin, vitamin C has been shown to protect the eye and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

It should be noted that unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking, can reduce the effectiveness of vitamin C. Therefore, researchers have advised that smokers need more vitamin C than non-smokers.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to our diet, because the body cannot produce them. Instead, they must be obtained from food. Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines, are rich in omega-3.

Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are vital for normal infant vision development. One study found that infants aged between two and four months showed significantly better visual acuity when fed an omega-3 supplemented formula than infants of the same age who were fed a formula without omega-3 fatty acids.


Zinc is a mineral that is important for the normal functioning of the immune system and brain. What's more, it is also beneficial to eye health. This is because high levels of zinc are found in part of the retina called the macula. Zinc enables vitamin A to produce a pigment known as melanin, which helps to protect the eye.

In the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, individuals who were at high risk of developing advanced stages of macular degeneration had a 25 per cent lower risk of developing the condition after taking a supplement containing zinc.

Foods such as oysters, beef, lobster and pork are rich sources of zinc.

If you have any questions surrounding eye health, contact our optician today at

1 Comment
  • Smithy Replied On 10 Mar 2016
    Interesting article.
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