Top 6 Eye Health Supplements and Foods to Improve and Protect Eyesight

Now while I don’t mean to scare you, not giving your eyes the nutrients they need to keep functioning up to par can lead to vision problems sooner or later.

Aside from the possibility of developing astigmatism and similar cases of blurry eyesight, the lack of vitamins and minerals can also lead to more serious health issues if our eyes are not given the attention they truly deserve.

There’s no need to worry just yet though. You can easily keep your eyes hale and hearty if you just load up on the following superfoods that are guaranteed to be not just healthy, but also extra delicious:

Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine is a semisynthetic derivative of vinca alkolaid vincamine—partially lab created, partially extracted from the periwinkle plant, which is native to Europe, northern African, and southwest Asia. It was synthesized in 1978 by Richter Gedeon, a Hungarian pharmacist. Vinpocetine is currently sold in Germany as a nootropic under the name Cavinton in Germany and as a dietary supplement in the U.S.

Not only does it help your memory and cognition, it’s an amazingly potent anti-inflammatory that’s good for the eyes. In fact, it shows particular promise as a treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration—a particularly pernicious type of vision loss that occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow in the eyes and leak blood or fluid into the macula, blocking your central field of vision. Studies demonstrate that people taking vinpocetine are less likely than those taking a placebo of developing this condition.

Eyebright

Euphrasia, aka Eyebright, is a genus of plant that’s semi-parasitic to other forms of grass but great for human eyes. Named specifically after its use as common treatment for eye infections, eyebright is commonly taken to lessen the severity of cataracts, to ease conjunctivitis (aka pinkeye,) reduce eye inflammation due to seasonal allergies and cure eye infections.

The active constituents of the herb aren’t quite understood, but the assumption is that is has something to do with the tannin acid, Euphrasia-tannin, which is only found in this particular genus. Eyebright can be used in a compress or taken orally in tea or tablet form. The juices of the plants, particularly the root, are extracted for treatment of ailments and can be applied to the eye with a hot or cold compress. It’s important to note that eyebright is no supposed to be taken as eye drops unless you have the specific guidance of a physician.

Blueberries

When it comes to getting your dose of potent compounds called flavonoids that not only have the ability to hold back eye disease, but also pick up the pace on the repair and rejuvenation of damaged cells and tissues, blueberries are just the stuff to reach for.

Simply having at least a couple of cups of these sumptuous treats every week are enough to keep your eyes in the pink while making sure that your taste buds are also having a party every time you indulge in them.

Fish Oil

Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids contribute to eye health by protecting from age-related macular degeneration and “dry-eye syndrome,” which is when your tear ducts don’t produce enough moisture to keep your eyes lubricated and free from all the detritus of day-to-day life. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids is from fish oil, or DHA. Derived from the tissue of oily fish, DHA is rich in omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Even if things haven’t gotten that dire, if you’re like me and you spend a few hours per day in front of a computer, it’s been demonstrated that regularly taking fish oil can help with keeping your eyes moist and comfortable.

Even if you’re eyes aren’t bothering you right now, age-related macular degeneration hits all of us eventually. So how do you keep your baby blues/browns/greens in tip-top shape? In 2008 a large-scale European study demonstrated that participants who consumed fish more than once per week were much less likely to develop wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD.) Wondering if North Americans are any different? Studies from all around the world have demonstrated the important of omega-3 fatty acids in staving off AMD.

Not a huge fan of fish? According to the Food and Drug Administration you can safely take up to 3000 mg of omega-3 per day (capsules will actually only have about 300 mg of fish oil per.) If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, fear not! You can get your daily dose from spirulina or chlorella; two different varieties of algae that offer good amounts of DHA to keep your eyes bright for years to come.

Red Bell Peppers

Now while this may sound surprising, red bell peppers are one of the most abundant sources of lycopene and beta-carotene, antioxidants that have been pinpointed to be two of the most effective in terms of preventing eye issues like cataracts and macular degeneration. The same antioxidants are also the ones that make tomatoes and carrots very eye-friendly as well.

And just to make the whole deal even more interesting, red bell pepper is also quite rich in vitamin C, one of the most powerful antioxidants that doesn’t just help in boosting the immune system, but also keep your hair and skin glowing if regularly consumed.

Pumpkins

Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think, pumpkins aren’t just good for carving out jack o’ lanterns with. They are also extremely rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is not just proven to have useful effects to maintaining optimum vision, but also hold back health issues that can set off the deterioration of the same.

Plus, the added potassium in pumpkins also make it a very good choice to load up on if you’re also looking to have bones that are strong and healthy even well into old age. Potassium can also help normalize soaring blood pressure levels, too.

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food - and her waistline shortly afterward. When she's not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn't suck.

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