This section describes important vision nutrients (food for the eyes), the foods they are found in, the conditions for their relevant use, and the supplements that target these nutrients.
Amino acids are the building blocks for protein, including proteins such as S proteins and RGS proteins that researchers are identifying as critical to vision. Cysteine and taurine are two especially important vision amino acids. Read more about the role of food sources for amino acids.
Bioflavonoids are the naturally occurring yellow, red and blue pigments found in plants that protect your eyes from damage due to sunlight exposure. They are potent antioxidants that combat damage from free radicals and that appear to assist blood circulation to and within the retina. They act in combination with vitamins to strengthen and maintain healthy vision. Learn more about the role and food sources of quercitin, rutin and bilberry.
Carotenoids such as lutein, astaxanthin, and zeaxanthin are plant pigments that absorb blue light and that exist naturally in plants using photosynthesis, including not only the plants that we see daily but algae, some types of fungus and some bacteria. They are valuable antioxidants and help protect the eye from many eye diseases. Research has demonstrated that people who eat alot of carotenoids are healthier and have fewer chronic illnesses in general. Interestingly, oils in fruits and vegetables are important for absorption of carotenoids. Research has found that avocado (fruit and oil) helped in this absorption.2 Learn more about the role of and food sources for carotenoids.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's)
Essential fatty acids are building blocks for fats in the body and are one of the fuel sources for energy in the cell. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are needed by the body, in an appropriate ratio to maintain good vision and general health. Learn about the role of fatty acids, the importance of the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, and food sources for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
For good health and strong vision we want to include a wide range of minerals in our diet. If you drink reverse osmosis water, or other filtered water that has removed minerals naturally occuring in your water, you may want to consider adding them back by way of trace mineral solutions designed especially for RO water.
Trace minerals support biochemical processes in the body and have a role in building structure as well. Some minerals have an especially important role in vision Magnesium supports bone structure and helps break down ATP, an enzyme critical to cell metabolism. Similarly, zinc supports enzyme processes. Selenium is required for antioxidant enzyme activity. Chromium is sometimes not considered essential but it may have a role in metabolism of sugar. Other important minerals that support enzyme activity and/or have other important structural functions are potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, copper, and iodine.
Vitamins play well known critical roles in the body and in vision. They are essential for many activities in the cells wither in reacting with other components to generate needed nutrients, contributing to energy product, or supporting antioxidant functions. Vitamins C and E act like antioxidants. Learn about the role of other specific vitamins in vision.
There are other nutrients that support good vision that don't fall into the above categories. These include: alpha lipoic acid and Coenzyme Q10 which support energy product within the cell, and garlic, which has been found to have many positive benefits for good vision health.