Healthy vision and eye health are vital to our daily well-being! One of the best ways to support our eyes is with a well-balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits and vegetables, which provide our eyes with the essential nutrients they need for healthy function. Some of the most important nutrients for our eyes are Vitamin A and the carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These all play vital roles in the function of our eyes, and it's important to know what they do so we can understand why we need them!†
1 Get Your Eyes Checked
One of the best ways to take care of your eyes is to go to regular eye examinations. Your primary medical provider, optometrist, or ophthalmologist is the person best qualified to evaluate your eye health and, if you wear glasses or contacts, make sure your prescription is right for your eyes.
2 Give Your Eyes a Break
In the modern age, so much of our work, communication, and entertainment happens on computer screens. It’s important to give your eyes a break from screens to lessen eye strain. Try to follow the 20-20-20 rule! Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
3 Get a Dose of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for eye development and the function of the retina, the component of the eye that interprets light. In fact, Vitamin A is so closely linked to vision that different types of Vitamin A are known as "retinoids," a name derived from that part of our eye! Vitamin A is essential for healthy eye function, so you want to ensure you're getting enough of it!†
Thankfully, there are plenty of tasty ways to get your fill of Vitamin A. Eggs, sweet potatoes, cod liver oil, fortified breakfast cereals, cantaloupe, and spinach are all rich in Vitamin A. If your diet lacks Vitamin A-rich foods, Nature Made® Multivitamin Gummies provide 450 mcg of Vitamin A in each serving, which can help to address dietary shortfalls in Vitamin A.†
4 Look for Sources of Carotenoids
The beautiful yellow, orange, and red pigments in plants do much more than look pretty! Named carotenoids, after your favorite colorful root vegetable, they serve an essential role in our bodies. Some carotenoids, like Beta-carotene, can be converted by the body to Vitamin A. Other carotenoids, such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin, are still crucial to eye health and vision, though not converted into Vitamin A. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are needed in the center of the eye's retina, called the macula. They absorb blue light in the macula, protecting the eye from blue light produced by the sun and digital devices.†
When looking to add carotenoids to your diet, look to the simple carrot! Generally, yellow and orange-colored vegetables are good sources of carotenoids. If you're specifically looking for sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are a great addition! For extra support, Nature Made® Lutein & Zeaxanthin Gummies can help support your vision by providing 20 mg of Lutein and 4 mg of Zeaxanthin per serving. Additionally, Nature Made® Vision Based on the AREDS 2 Formula provides Lutein and Zeaxanthin, along with a serving of Vitamin C and Vitamin E to give your eyes antioxidant support. With Nature Made®, you can help give your eyes the support they need!†
When considering this information, consult your doctor on best practices for these supplements and any dietary changes. A combination of both might help you support your eye health!†
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Zhong M, Kawaguchi R, Kassai M, Sun H. Retina, retinol, retinal and the natural history of vitamin A as a light sensor. Nutrients. 2012;4(12):2069-2096. Published 2012 Dec 19. doi:10.3390/nu4122069. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3546623/
Reider CA, Chung RY, Devarshi PP, Grant RW, Hazels Mitmesser S. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1735. Published 2020 Jun 10. doi:10.3390/nu12061735. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352522/
Roberts JE, Dennison J. The Photobiology of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in the Eye. J Ophthalmol. 2015;2015:687173. doi:10.1155/2015/687173 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698938/
Graham has a degree in film with a focus on screenwriting from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He enjoys learning new things and finding the best, most engaging way to communicate them to a wide audience. Graham appreciates simplicity in life and nutrition, and wants to find the easiest, no-stress ways to stay healthy.
Kalyn is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and a Science & Health Educator with the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. Her experience in the field of nutrition prior to joining Pharmavite has included community and public health education, media dietetics, and clinical practice in the areas of disordered eating, diabetes, women’s health, and general wellness. Kalyn received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, and completed her dietetic supervised practice in Maricopa County, AZ, with an emphasis on public health. Kalyn is certified in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where she is an active member in addition to memberships in Dietitians in Functional Medicine, Women’s Health Dietitians, and the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians.