Glasses, contact lenses and corrective surgery are the most common methods used by people to improve their vision, but what about vitamins? Vitamins are important to the body, with many different health benefits and ways to improve bodily functions. It's a mystery that so many people concern themselves with calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates on a nutrition label, while completely ignoring the bottom section of the nutrition label that contains valuable information about the vitamins a certain food or drink contains.
Vitamins are essential nutrients, required by the body to function normally. There are many diseases and health related issues that arise from a vitamin deficiency. These health related issues include problems in the eyes. By taking the recommended dietary intake of important vitamins, not only will you be reducing the risk of eye problems, you will also be improving your eyesight as well. Here is a list of essential vitamins to help improve eyesight:
Vitamin A is very important for the proper function of the retina, which is the part of the eye that creates an image and converts it to nerve signals sent to your brain. Inside the retina are four different photopigments that play part in your eyesight. These photopgiments store vitamin A compounds, and increasing or decreasing your intake of vitamin A can have an effect on these photopigments.
Rhodopsin is one of the four photopigments found in the retina, and is responsible for detecting small amounts of light. This gives rhodopsin a vital role for your vision at night, or when you are in areas with low-lighting. Increasing your vitamin A intake can improve your night vision, and how well your eyes function under low-lit conditions.
Food sources that contain a significant amount of vitamin A include:
Most people recognize vitamin C for its immune boosting capabilities, but many aren't aware of its ability to improve eyesight. Studies have shown that a healthy intake of vitamin C can help reduce the risk of forming cataracts, while combating a decrease in eyesight due to aging known as macular degeneration.
The cornea, which is the clear cover on the front of the eye, benefits from a healthy intake of vitamin C. A deficiency in vitamin A has also been linked to corneal ulcers, and may result in blindness. Should you ever suffer from a corneal ulcer, an increased intake of protein and vitamin C is usually recommended. Vitamin C is also very important to the capillaries of the retina.
Food sources that contain a significant amount of vitamin C include:
Vitamin E is typically known for its antioxidant properties, which are essential for fighting harmful, free radical compounds in the body that are responsible for aging and numerous ailments like cancer and heart disease. Research has also shown that the eyes benefit from a regular intake of vitamin E. Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E has been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration in several studies.
Food sources that contain a significant amount of vitamin E include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Leafy green vegetables
Several vitamins in the B vitamin group have shown to be beneficial to eyes and improved eyesight.
- Vitamin B2: beneficial to the cornea in the form of an eye drop. Vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to dimmed vision, along with red, itchy, burning eyes.
- Vitamin B6: can prevent macular degeneration when taken in conjunction with vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 also helps absorb magnesium, which is used to help the production of tears.
- Vitamin B12: studies have shown that it can help prevent macular degeneration when taken with B6. Vitamin B12 has also been shown to help prevent glaucoma, which is the loss of peripheral vision due to optic nerve damage.
Food sources that contain a significant amount of these B vitamins include:
Proper vitamin intake is very important for your eyes and to help improve eyesight. As you age, parts of the body become fatigued, especially the eyes. Macular degeneration is a common ailment among the elderly, but as you can see, there are several vitamins available that can help prevent a loss of vision as you age. These vitamins may not grant you x-ray vision, but they can help improve your eyesight and keep your eyes a little healthier at the same time.