Raw Red Peppers
World’s Healthiest Foods: “Vitamin C,” “Peanuts,” “Vitamin E,” “Vitamin A,” “Sweet potatoes,” “Squash, summer,” “Squash, winter.”. American Optometric Association: “Vitamin C,” “Vitamin E,” “Diet & Nutrition,” “Lutein & Zeaxanthin,” “Essential Fatty Acids,” “Zinc.”. All About Vision: “Eye Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids,” “Vitamin E: Benefits For Your Eyes And Vision.”.
American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Four Fantastic Foods to Keep Your Eyes Healthy.”. Nih: “Zinc: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.”. Harvard Health Publications: “Top foods to help protect your vision.”.
Ts and Vegetables for Good Eye Health
Eating more fruits and vegetables can help protect against eye disease and help your overall health. The following foods may help stop or slow certain eye diseases. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables,
sweet potatoes, avocados, wheat germ,
and whole grains.
Vitamin E Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, eggs,
and green leafy vegetables. Essential Fatty Acids Red meat, poultry, oysters and other seafood,
nuts, dried beans, soy foods, milk and other
dairy products, whole grains, and
fortified breakfast cereals. Some people have health conditions or take medicines that could be affected by a change in diet or vitamin supplements.
Prepared by the Vision Health Integration and Preservation Program, a collaboration of Healthy Eyes Alliance (formerly Prevent Blindness Tri-State) and the New York State Department of Health.
Vitamin C And Your Eyes
Abundant in fruits and vegetables, vitamin C helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea of the eye. Sweet red peppers have more than three times the vitamin C of orange juice.
Unlike most animals, humans are unable to produce vitamin C in the body. So we must get our daily dose of ascorbic acid from our diet. According to the National Institutes of Health, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is 90 milligrams (mg) per day for men and 75 mg for women.
(Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should take up to 120 mg per day.). Research suggests smokers need more vitamin C than nonsmokers. Many researchers, however, feel you should consume significantly more vitamin C than the RDA.
Excess vitamin C is excreted in urine. Cooking and canning foods can decrease their vitamin C content. Light also destroys vitamin C. So if you drink orange juice, it’s best to purchase it in opaque containers.
Bioflavonoids: Vitamin C’S Eye Health Partner
Bioflavonoids (also called flavonoids) are the natural pigments that give fruits and vegetables their color. Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body. It has not been proven that all bioflavonoids are essential to human health.
Studies of specific bioflavonoids, however, have revealed health benefits. Found in buckwheat and citrus fruits, quercetin may help prevent seasonal allergies. Rutin, another bioflavonoid, may be useful for the prevention of easy bruising and other bleeding abnormalities.
Rutin is found in buckwheat, capers and other plants. And recent research suggests apigenin — a bioflavonoid found in celery, parsley, red wine, tomato sauce and other plant-based foods — may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Bioflavonoids and vitamin C appear to work together in the body.
Researchers believe benefits credited solely to vitamin C in the past actually may be due to the combined action of vitamin C and specific bioflavonoids. Bilberries are also called huckleberries or whortleberries in some regions. Anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration and help maintain the health of the cornea and blood vessels in various parts of the eye.
Researchers also are investigating other potential eye benefits of anthocyanins, including the possibility these and other bioflavonoids may help reduce inflammatory eye disease and diabetic retinopathy. In addition to bilberries and blueberries, other good sources of anthocyanins include acai fruit, cherries, plums, cranberries, raspberries, eggplant, red and purple grapes and red wine. Like vitamin C, bioflavonoids are water-soluble and nontoxic, even at high doses.