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Ocular Nutrition: Five Great Nutrients That Keep Your Eyes Healthy

by Ted Maser

If you're like most people, it's hard for you to imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost your vision.

Unfortunately, people go through this horrible experience every day. As you get older, your eyes start to function less effectively. You may even end up losing your vision completely.

Good ocular nutrition, however, can prevent this from happening. If you take steps to take in good nutrients for eye health, you can keep them in tip-top condition. 

Vitamin A

One of the most important nutrients for eye health is vitamin A. Vitamin A is particularly important when it comes to night vision.

Vitamin A works by attaching to rod cells in your eyes and forming rhodopsin. Having rhodopsin in your retina allows your eyes to pick up even the smallest amounts of light. If you don't get enough vitamin A, your eyes will become inefficient at adapting to the dark. This can be dangerous, as it can cause accidents when driving, or cause you to bump into things and fall if you're walking around in a dark place. 

Vitamin A can be found in a variety of different foods, but it is most abundant in beef and chicken liver, dairy products and vegetables, such as carrots, kale and spinach. Vitamin A from animal sources is more readily accessible for use by your eyes.

Beef liver, carrot juice and kale contain the most vitamin A so you'll want to add at least one serving of one of these foods into your diet if you want to easily improve your ocular nutrition. Each one of these foods contain over 250 percent of your required daily vitamin A intake. Other good choices include cantaloupes, oatmeal and raw peaches.


Zinc is a very important mineral when it comes to retinal function and overall ocular health. Without it, vitamin A can not migrate from the liver over to the eyes. If you don't get enough zinc in your diet, the vitamin A will get flushed out of your system, making it basically worthless in terms of ocular nutrition. Zinc can also prevent you from developing age-related macular degeneration if you take in 30 mg of it each day.

If you like seafood, you'll have no problem taking in enough zinc to keep your eyes healthy. One serving of wild eastern oysters contains a whopping 182 mg of zinc. Toasted wheat germ, veal liver and roast beef are other great options, containing 17 mg, 12 mg and 10 mg of zinc respectively. Vegetarian options include pumpkin seeds, peanuts and watermelon seeds. If you have a sweet tooth, you can even get a good amount of zinc by eating a serving of dark chocolate. 

Vitamin B2

If you're serious about ocular nutrition, vitamin B2 is a must. Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is needed in order for your body to produce glutathione, which is extremely important to ocular heath. It also helps with ocular light reception, so it plays a big part in the maintenance of optimal vision.

If you are deficient in riboflavin, you may develop a host of eye problems. These include dryness, light sensitivity and ocular fatigue. Having a vitamin B2 deficiency may also increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

You need at least 1.7 mg of vitamin B2 daily if you want to keep your eyes at their best. Luckily, vitamin B2 is abundant in many different kinds of foods.  Almonds are a leading food, containing over 1 mg of B2. A serving of fish, especially mackerel, trout and salmon, contains anywhere from 10 to 32 percent of your daily requirement. Marmite is a good source of B2 if you are vegan. Marmite is a yeast extract spread, and one teaspoon of it will give you 50 percent of your daily required riboflavin. 


When it comes to ocular nutrition, lutein is key. Lutein is most commonly used in the treatment and prevention of both age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. It prevents macular degeneration by protecting the macula against oxidative damage.

The less damage your eyes experience, the lower the likelihood that they will start to degenerate. Lutein also acts as a light filter, preventing your eyes from taking in too much light. This helps to prevent cataract formation. Overall eye function is enhanced when you take lutein because it prevents light sensitivity. If you are exposed to an extremely bright light, lutein will help your eyes recover more quickly and efficiently. 

Lutein is found in large amounts in a variety of leafy green vegetables, especially kale, broccoli and spinach, all of which contain at least 20 mg of lutein per 100 g serving. Corn also contains a large percentage of lutein. Eggs contain small amounts of lutein, but the enhanced bioavailability of lutein from eggs can cause a big spike in your lutein blood levels. 


Like lutein, Selenium is an antioxidant. It repairs damage done to your eyes from free radicals and lessens the overall amount of damage to which your eyes are exposed.

Selenium can also be a huge help if you have eye problems due to Grave's disease, an autoimmune disorder affecting the thyroid gland. It will reduce common symptoms like dryness, puffiness, double vision and light sensitivity. In terms of overall ocular health, Selenium allows your body to better absorb vitamin E. Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that protects against age-related eye disorders.

If you're a fan of nuts, you'll have no problem making selenium a part of your ocular nutrition plan. An ounce of brazil nuts contains over 700 percent of the recommended daily intake. You should only eat one to two brazil nuts a day because too much selenium can actually be toxic. Canned tuna in oil provides 95 percent of your recommended intake, making it a good choice as well. Other selenium rich foods include beef, cod and light turkey meat.

In Conclusion…

So there you have it. Five solid nutrients that will help you in your effort to learn how to improve eyesight naturally. Increase the above nutrients in your diet and you should see some great improvements in your eyesight, especially when you combine good ocular nutrition with a program of eye exercises for better vision.

If you find it difficult to increase these five nutrients in your diet, then you can also take them in supplement form. It is generally much better however to increase nutrient intake through your diet, as it is safer, more effective and less likely to give you side-effects.

Good ocular nutrition however, is only one piece of the puzzle. The other includes how you use your eyes – maintaining good visual habits that prevent your eyesight from getting worse, and doing specialized eye exercises that have been found to dramatically improve your eyesight.

If you would like to learn how to put everything together so you can improve your eyesight naturally, no longer needing glasses and never having to go through surgery, I highly suggest you read this article on how to improve your eyesight naturally.

Click here to learn how to improve eyesight naturally

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