by Vickie Jenkins

Summer is approaching and this is the time of the year that most of us start thinking about diet. But did you know that there is actually a diet for our eyes?
Diet and nutrition plays an important role in our everyday life. Adding powerful antioxidants to one’s diet can improve your eye health. There is no substitute for the quality of good vision. Adding certain nutrients to your diet every day, either through food or supplements can help save your vision. Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients such as lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataract formation.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are important nutrients found in green leafy vegetables, as well as other foods, such as eggs. Many studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables. There has been evidence that vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts, and when taken wtih other essential nutrients, vitamin C can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual loss.
Vitamin E it’s most biologically active form, is a powerful antioxidant found in nuts, fortified cereal and sweet potatoes. It protects cells of the eyes from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals which break down healthy tissue.
Even though we try to avoid fats in our diet, it is a necessary part of our diet. They maintain the nervous system, fuel cells and boost the immune system. Two omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be important for proper visual development and retinal function.
Last but not least, zinc is an essential for our diet. It plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, mostly in the retina and choroid, the vascular tssue layer lying under the retina. So, as summer approaches and we tend to think of our diets, let’s not forget that there is a diet for our eyes.