Link between Diet and Eye Disease

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 04, 2013

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Diet_eyeOur eyes are very delicate and need proper care. Damage to any part of the eye can lead to significant loss of vision. We spend long hours working in front of our PCs or watching television or reading in dim light, thereby straining our eyes. Without our knowing or feeling it, our eyes could be slowly deteriorating. So, to ensure healthy vision, we need to give them a little attention. We should avoid hazardous games and careless acts that can harm our eyes.


According to a Delhi based Ophthalmologist at Shivam Netralaya, Dr. Ashok Hansaria, “A balanced diet is the key to healthy eyes.” Research confirms a link between eye health and a healthy diet. The nutrients vitamins C and E; carotenoids, beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin; omega-3 fatty acids; zinc; and vitamins B6, B9 (folic acid or folate), and B12 are associated with eye health.


In order to enhance your vision, include following food items in your diet:

  • Fruits and vegetables like peaches, orange, squash, carrots, and apricots are loaded with beta-carotene, which helps the body to convert it into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential to healthy eyes and normal eyesight. Vitamin-A deficiency causes a condition called xerophthalmia, or drying of the eye. It affects the cornea, the transparent covering that allows light to enter the eye. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that fights major eye diseases like glaucoma, cataract, and night blindness.
  • Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant.

Antioxidants prevent some of the biological deterioration that comes with ageing. Antioxidants and zinc are believed to protect the eyes against macular degeneration, a serious eye disease associated with aging.

  • Green leafy vegetables like brussel sprouts, spinach, lettuce and cabbage are rich sources of lutein, cartenoids, and zeaxanthin which prevent macular degeneration and reduce the risk of cataracts.
  • Fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts and canola oil contain omega-3 essential fatty acids that help to prevent dry eyes and possibly cataracts.
  • Citrus fruits, nuts, wheat germ, and eggs are rich in Vitamins A, C, and E that play a major role in making our vision sharp and healthy.
  • Lean meats, fish, nuts, legumes and eggs are good sources of lutein. Yoghurt, milk, spinach, peas, oysters, lentils and beans are a great source of zinc.
  • Brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables contain the most antioxidants, which protect our eyes by reducing damage that can cause age-related eye diseases.
  • Citrus fruits, fortified cereals, dried beans, green leafy vegetables, liver, mushrooms, nuts, and peas are rich sources of folic acid.


Apart from taking a healthy diet, give adequate rest to your eyes. Use protective sunglasses while going out in the sun. Visit an eye doctor once a year. After all eye care is better than eye cure.



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