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What are seven secret ingredients for healthier eyes

What are seven secret ingredients for healthier eyes?

Tuesday 07 June 2022

We often hear doctors on the radio and the television tell us how important it is to eat “healthily”. But what does that really mean? How much difference does eating one or two extra greens and cutting out two glasses of wine really make?

Before we learn about the complicated nutrients and the foods, let’s try to understand the properties which support the health of our eyes.


Antioxidants are one of these ephemeral concepts that almost everyone has heard of, but very few of us really know why they’re important.

The retina is the delicate area at the back of your eye, which light is reflected onto. The retina is incredibly important to sight, because all our light-sensitive cells are located there. The centre of the retina is even more densely packed with these cells and is called the macula. One of the problems facing the retina is the fact it is an area of “high oxidative stress”, meaning there is a high amount of free-radical molecules, which damage delicate proteins and DNA within our cells.

Antioxidants protect against free-radicals, by giving those highly energised particles something else to target, rather than our soft-tissue structure. These chemicals break down the free-radicals, making them harmless.


When we talk about anti-inflammatories, we don’t mean that you should take an extra ibuprofen every week! Instead, you should try to add a couple of foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties.

While the causes of Macular Degeneration have been very difficult to understand, one of the risk factors of the disease is inflammation. While a significant study has not yet shown the tangible benefits of specific foods, this logical step could support your sight as your eyes get older.

Which nutrients are we looking for? And which foods contain them?

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

These are highly effective antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of cataracts and AMD. The amazing thing about these chemicals is that they naturally accumulate in the retina, meaning they offer even greater protection than they would otherwise.

You can find them in leafy greens like spinach, kale and broccoli, or to a lesser extent in eggs.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is very important to our eyes, as it keeps the cornea clear. The cornea is the clear outer layer of your eye, which protects the white part of your eye (the sclera). It is essential to keep the cornea as clear as possible.

You can find Vitamin A in almost every coloured vegetable, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and squash, as well as kale and spinach.

Antioxidant vitamins and minerals

According to Harvard Medical School, the common antioxidant vitamins and minerals are Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc. Including all of these in your diet will help your sight a great deal, as they work in tandem to support your vision.

Zinc is prevalent in red meats and nuts, while vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and berries. Vitamin E is also found in nuts, sunflower seeds, and spinach.

Omega-3 fatty acids

These nutrients are essential to several functions in the human body and provide two benefits specifically to our eye health. Not only do they fulfil the criteria of being a natural anti-inflammatory, but they also support retinal function.

You can find these fatty acids in oily fish, such as sardines, herring, salmon and tuna.

As you can see, there are a lot of simple steps we can take to help protect our sight as we age.

While you should always contact a doctor first when you notice a problem, hopefully you can start to understand what your eyes need, by incorporating a little bit of each nutrient into your diet.

I think we’ll all go away knowing that as much as we may dislike it, spinach is very good for you!


  1. New Medical.
  2. Health Harvard.
  3. Health NY.
  4. HealthLine.


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