Eating for Your Eyes: 7 Nutrients that Can Improve Your Eye Health
Over the past several decades, the use of screen-related technology has risen exponentially. People often look to screen technology for entertainment purposes and now, with the amount people working and schooling from home, screen time has significantly increased for many. Spending time in front of a TV or computer screen exposes your eyes to a type of light, called blue light. Research has shown that over-exposure to blue light can be harmful to the eyes. Fortunately, there are several ways to help improve your eye health and combat the negative effects of blue light from the computer screen through nutrition. It is important to note that nutrients are much more bioavailable in the form of whole foods than in supplement form. Below is a list of specific nutrients and foods that can help improve your eye health.
Vitamin A – Found in foods like carrots, cantaloupe, and apricots
Vitamin C – Found in foods like citrus fruit, berries, and bell peppers
Vitamin E – Found in foods like nuts, seeds, and broccoli
Zinc – Found in foods like oysters, chickpeas, and yogurt
Lutein and Zeaxanthin – These nutrients are often found together in foods like egg yolks, kale, and spinach
Omega 3’s – Found in foods like salmon, tuna, and flaxseed/flaxseed oil
In addition to the nutrients listed above, there is new evidence that vitamin D may also play a role in supporting eye health. Vitamin D is unique in that it can be acquired through sun exposure. You should aim to spend at least 15-20 minutes outside each day to get the recommended amount vitamin D. It is also important to note that vitamin D can be found foods such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
Here are some general guidelines to remember to help improve and maintain healthy eyesight:
Try to limit time spent in front of a screen each day as best you can.
If you are working in front of a computer screen for long periods of time, remember to give your eyes a break now and then to avoid eye fatigue and overexposure to blue light.
Take a break from screen time and get outside when you can! Your eyes will appreciate the natural light.
Stay hydrated throughout the day to keep your eyes from feeling dry and irritated.
Eat well balanced meals throughout the day and try to incorporate some of the foods listed above into your meals.
Learn more about healthy eating and other programs offered by Wellness Workdays.
Written by: Onycha Carlson, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern