Diet and Eye Health: The Facts

You may have scoffed at your mother when she tried to make you eat more carrots when you were young, promising you amazing night-vision if you did, but new research shows that she may not have been too far from the truth. New studies show that eating certain foods can definitely improve your eyesight and reverse the processes of optical ageing, as well as other dangerous conditions like macular degeneration, which accounts for nearly half of all blindness and other sight conditions in the UK.

Macular degeneration occurs when the cells of the macula (which is located in the centre of the retina) become damaged over time. This causes a decreased ability to identify certain colours or focus while reading. While it’s no secret that a healthy diet can improve eye health, it helps to know the finer details. Click here for more information on other forms of treatments for differing eye conditions.

Stocking up on Lutein

Lutein is a nutrient that protects your eyes by forming pigments in the macular region of your retina. Recent studies have demonstrated that eyes with larger amounts of lutein in them are up to 80 per cent less likely to suffer from age-related macular degeneration, which means that the more pigments that form, the less likely it is that you’ll suffer from macular degeneration.

Since your body doesn’t produce lutein naturally, you’ll have to get your fix from green vegetables. Vegetables that have high lutein content include leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and kale. You can also get lutein from vitamin supplements, too.

Carrots and carotene

Carrots are rich in the aptly-named nutrient, carotene. When you digest carotene, your liver processes the nutrient into Vitamin A, which protects your vision by absorbing the light energy that enters your eye. Increasing your carotene intake means your eyes will absorb energy more easily. This means that you’ll be able to see more in the dark. Carrots aside, you can find carotene in mangoes, cabbage, cod liver oil, milk and eggs.


Anthocyanosides are a group of compounds that can be found in blueberries, a seemingly unlikely source of nutrients that can help improve your vision. Ingesting this compound will help develop your retina, helping your night-time vision. Of course, you’d have to eat a lot of blueberries in order to gain tangible benefits from them. Anthocyanosides are also available in capsules and supplements.

In general, it’s advisable that you routinely stick to a well-balanced and disciplined diet in order to ensure that your eyes are getting a healthy dose of nutrients on a regular basis. By making sure that you’re maintaining a healthy body weight, you will also reduce the risk of ‘type two’ diabetes, which is one of the leading causes of blindness.

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