Even those who have enjoyed perfect vision all their lives will sometimes discover a decline in their eye health after age 60 or so. Sometimes this change is simply a natural part of aging. But because eyes respond to our lifestyle choices just like any other part of our bodies, proper nutrition and other smart choices can help to ward off some diseases of the eyes and preserve your vision.
We are all subject to something called oxidative stress, which is damage to the cells of our body from stress factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, excessive sun exposure, contact with known carcinogens, and others. But certain vitamins are known as antioxidants. They fight back against this damage to the body, helping you to stay healthier.
Vitamins A, C, and E are the two most well-known antioxidants, and can help you ward off serious diseases like age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. But lesser-known trace nutrients like lutein, zinc, and zeaxanthin also play important roles in preserving health.
Eating a wide variety of colorful, fresh fruits and veggies will help you to obtain most of the antioxidants you need. But for zinc, you should focus on seafood, eggs, dairy, and meat. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, seeds, lentils, and beans also contain zinc.
Omega-3 fatty acids provide the final piece of the puzzle. Some people who experience dry, chronically irritated eyes find that the condition reverses when they begin to consume more Omega-3 fatty acids in fish, oils, walnuts, and certain seeds.
Of course, those with limited appetites often find it difficult to obtain enough nutrients from food. If this is the case for you, a high-quality daily multivitamin can help bridge the gap in your nutrition. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about which multivitamin is right for you.