Your eyes let you see and embrace the world around you, so it's important to do all that you can to keep them in top health. One way to achieve that is by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to keep your eyes in good shape. Here's a look at four eye-friendly vitamins and minerals that you want to ensure are included in your diet.
Vitamin A is perhaps the best known eye-friendly vitamin. A deficiency of vitamin A can cause night blindness, a condition that makes it hard to see in dim light. Getting enough vitamin A in your diet will decrease your risk of eye infections and help ensure that your eyes produce a healthy amount of tears. If your eyes are often dry, increasing your vitamin A intake might help.
The RDA for vitamin A is 900 micrograms per day for men and 700 micrograms per day for women. Good food sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, dairy products, eggs, peppers and tuna. Most people are able to get all of the vitamin A they need by concentrating on eating these foods, but if you're struggling to meet the RDA for vitamin A, you may wish to take a supplement. It is nearly impossible to overdose on vitamin A if you follow the dosing instructions on the supplement label.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin, which means that it helps absorb free radicals before they get the chance to cause damage to your eye tissue. This can be helpful in preventing age-related eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts. Getting enough vitamin E in your diet will also help keep your eyes moist and the tissue around your eyes supple and soft.
Good food sources of vitamin E include eggs, nuts and seeds, avocados and fortified cereals. If you don't eat these foods regularly, you're probably not getting enough vitamin E in your diet to meet the RDA of 15 milligrams per day for adults. A good solution is to take a vitamin E supplement. Just make sure you don't exceed the maximum safe dose of 1,000 milligrams per day.
Zinc is a trace mineral that the body only needs in small amounts, but if you're not getting enough, your eyes can suffer the consequences. A lack of zinc in the diet can increase your risk of macular degeneration and eye infections. Increase your zinc intake, and not only will your eye health improve, but you'll also likely notice that you develop fewer colds as your immunity improves.
The RDA for zinc is 8 milligrams per day for women and 11 milligrams per day for men. Good sources of zinc include oysters, beef, lobster, pork and yogurt. If you choose to take a zinc supplement, make sure you also take a copper supplement, as zinc can reduce the absorption of copper. Many supplements combine zinc and copper for this reason.
Selenium is a mineral that is important for muscle health, including the health of muscles in and around your eyes. It also helps your body absorb and utilize vitamin E. Without enough selenium, your eyes might have trouble adjusting to different levels of light. If you're a diabetic, a lack of selenium increases your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
The RDA for selenium is 55 milligrams per day for adults. You can increase your selenium intake by eating more nuts, eggs, seeds, mushrooms, rice, oats, and dairy products. Should you choose to take a selenium supplement, make sure you do not exceed the safe upper limit of 400 milligrams per day.
If you make sure you get enough vitamin A, vitamin E, selenium and zinc in your diet, your eyes will thank you. Talk to your eye doctor to learn more about natural vision supplements.
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