The foods that you eat can have a huge affect on how your body works: eat foods which are bad for you, and the chances are that your body will stop working as well as it should, but if you eat the right foods, then you will be able to promote good health. It is important that you try to maintain a balanced diet, because different areas of the body require different vitamins and minerals. The following components are considered to be good for your ocular health.

Beta Carotene

Children are often told that they should eat their carrots because carrots will help them to see in the dark. Whilst eating carrots won’t give you night vision, they can help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataract formation. Age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading eye conditions that causes blindness in the Western hemisphere.

Beta Carotene can be found in many naturally orange foods, including fresh and canned pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potato. It can also be found in fruit such as mangoes.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein is found in the macula section of the eye, and medical scientists believe that it helps to keep the eye safer from the dangers associated with the high-energy photons of blue light, and from oxidative stress. These substances can help to slow age-related eye degeneration and prevent cataract formation. Studies have also shown that consuming safe levels of lutein may help to decrease light sensitivity in people who are suffering from photophobia.

Foods that are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include: kale, spinach, eggs, avocado and pistachios.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for good vision, because it helps to protect the surface of the eye, and helps to offer relief from problems which are associated with dry eyes. Vitamin A is used by some of the photosensitive receptors in the eye to help the eye to translate images into signals that the brain will understand. Vitamin A deficiencies can prevent these reactions from occurring properly, and may mean that people struggle to see properly in low light conditions or lack adequate night vision.

Great sources of Vitamin A include liver (including cod liver oil), sweet potato, broccoli leaves, carrots, butter, cheddar cheese and kale.

Vitamin C and E

Vitamins C and E both work together to help to keep healthy eye tissue strong, and they act as antioxidants which help to fight off disease. Both of these vitamins can help to lower the risk of cataracts and can help to slow the progression of age-related macular-degeneration. Vitamin C is vital for healthy blood vessels, which help to keep an adequate oxygen supply flowing to the eye.

Good sources of vitamin C include orange juice, grapefruit juice, tomatoes, berries and red pepper. Oils such as almond oil, olive oil and rapeseed oil are normally good source of Vitamin E, as are avocadoes, kiwifruits, mangoes and broccoli.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help to protect your eyes against dry eye syndrome, as well as reducing the likelihood that you will develop cataracts. They are also thought to reduce the risks of age-related macular degeneration. Fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon are rich in these essential acids, although you should make sure that you consume them in moderation.

Bioflavonoids and Zinc

These substances also are known to protect the retina and to reduce the chances of cataracts developing. Foods which are rich in bioflavanoids and zinc include types of beans, peas and lentils. Seeds are also great sources of zinc which can be eaten as a tasty snack.