Fruits and vegetables, as well as beans and nuts, are essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle due to their high concentrations of antioxidants and vitamins. However, very few people routinely eat enough of these foods to obtain an adequate supply of these nutrients. Listed below are key nutrients and suggested daily amounts needed for optimal eye health.
- Lutein – 10 mg/day
- Lutein can be found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, and kale. It can also be found in corn and eggs.
- DHA/EPA (Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids) – 500 mg/day
- Essential fatty acids can be found in flax seed and fleshy fish like tuna or salmon.
- Vitamin C – 500 mg/day
- Vitamin C is found in many fruits and fruit juices, especially citrus fruits, as well as added to many food products.
- Vitamin E – 400 IU/day
- Nuts, vegetable oils, peanut butter, and fortified cereals are good sources of Vitamin E.
- Copper – 2 mg/day
- Copper is found in beans, lentils, and mixed nuts.
- Zinc – 8-11 mg/day (higher if diagnosed with Macular Degeneration)
- Red meats, poultry, and fortified cereals all provide good quantities of zinc.
As stated before, diet alone is usually not enough to obtain all of these nutrients. Dr. Crawford can recommend supplements or multivitamins to help. As always, you should consult your primary care physician and pharmacist when starting any new medications or supplements.