Good vision and healthy eyes should never be taken for granted — having lousy vision is difficult. Most of us strive every day to avoid new or worse vision loss. We’ve already discussed the worst foods for your eye health, but what about the best foods? Some eye diseases — such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — can be avoided or mitigated by eating healthy foods full of good vitamins for your eyes. The National Eye Institute has conducted two Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2) to examine the effectiveness of vitamin supplements on eye health.


What are the most common eye diseases?
Macular degeneration is the most common age-related reason for vision loss. It affects the macula — the center of your retina — and destroys sight over time slowly.


A cataract is another degenerative eye disease defined as cloudiness forming on the eye’s clear lens. The growing cloudiness can cause blurry vision depending on the location and the size of the mass.


Glaucoma is yet another age-related eye condition. Fluid and pressure build up in the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve. When fibers in the optic nerve are damaged, areas of blindness occur. If the entire nerve is damaged, you will become blind.


Health and prevention
Luckily, there are measures we can take to keep your eyes healthy and slow the development of age-related eye problems. Making lifestyle changes can help to decrease the likelihood of losing your vision. Also, annual eye exams are crucial to detect any issues as early as possible. Protect your eyes from UV radiation with sunglasses. Exercise and maintain healthy blood pressure.


Diabetic patients should closely monitor and manage their blood sugar. Eat a balanced diet full of the best vitamins for eye health.


These are the best vitamins and minerals for eye health. These vitamins as part of a healthy diet can reduce the risk of eye diseases as well as improve overall health.


  • 1. Lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are essential for retinal function and protect your eyes from oxidative stress. The retina sits at the back of the eye and transmits the light that enters the eye to the brain where it’s translated into images. Lutein and zeaxanthin also help reduce eye strain from too much blue light exposure from your phone or computer. They can only be derived from food and are found in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.
  • 2. Zinc. This mineral is also essential for retinal function. An antioxidant, zinc helps fight the large number of free radicals found within the macula. Eliminating these free radicals aid in the prevention of damage to the retina. Alongside other antioxidants, zinc can slow the progression of AMD and reduce visual acuity loss.
  • Shellfish, especially oysters, and red meat are the best sources of zinc. However, if you are vegan, then nuts, seeds, and legumes are your go-to for satisfying your daily value of zinc.
  • 3. Vitamin A. Most people already know that vitamin A is essential for healthy eye function. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that protects the cornea and retina. It’s also crucial for night vision — vitamin A is necessary for producing protective eye pigments. Carrots are considered good for eye health because they’re high in beta carotene (vitamin A). But sweet potatoes, mangoes, cantaloupe, and black-eyed peas are also fine choices.
  • 4. Vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is a key “anti-stress” vitamin for its ability to decrease inflammation. Studies suggest vitamin B1 may also help prevent diabetic retinopathy — progressive damage to the retina caused by high blood sugar and decreased blood flow. Grains — such as bread, rice, and pasta — are good sources of B vitamins.
  • 5. Vitamin C. Another powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and retinal function. Vitamin C helps fight free radicals, reduces the risk of cataracts, and supports blood vessel health. Incorporating this important vitamin is easy — and it can be found in more than just oranges! Guava, sweet red peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, papaya, and broccoli are also excellent sources high in vitamin C.
  • 6. Vitamin E. Another important antioxidant eye supplement, vitamin E also helps slow retinal aging. Foods that are high in vitamin E include nuts and seeds, avocados, trout, and butternut squash. Oils like grapeseed and safflower are also excellent sources.
  • 7. Omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids support healthy vision and retinal function in the development stage and throughout your life. Studies show that maintaining a diet rich in omega-3 slows the degeneration of the eyes. Two of the omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) also help to relieve inflammation. Sufficient dosage of omega-3 reduces the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eye syndrome. Fish oil and coldwater fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring are rich sources of omega-3.