Subhadeep Das, M.Optom

Senior Program Manager, Vision Science Academy, United Kingdom

Lecturer, Management and Science University, Malaysia


Vision Science Academy Exclusive



The eyes provide one of the most important senses, sight. For healthy functioning eyes, proper nutrition must be taken. It supports the eye function and aids in protecting the eye from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Healthy nutrients can also go in the long run, i.e., reducing the risk of vision loss due to aging. (1) According to the National Institute of Health, 94% of Americans have good vision, and the rest are visually impaired, i.e., near-sighted. (2) A study by Thevi et. al. concluded cataracts and retinal diseases are more common than other eye diseases. (3)

Sources of Nutrition for the Eye:

Green leafy vegetables, i.e., kale and spinach, fish like salmon and tuna, eggs, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits, are the sources of the different nutrition required for the eye. (4)

Nutritional Elements for the Eye:

Following are the nutrients required for the eye:

  1. Vitamin A: It is required to maintain the eye’s photoreceptors (cells that sense light). Its deficiency can cause night blindness, dry eyes, and other ocular conditions. A study concluded that the occurrence of dry eyes in individuals was reduced by 63% after taking supplements for 16 months. Another study concluded that the ability to adjust to darkness improves by 50% after the use of vitamin A. (1)
  2. Lutein & Zeaxanthin: These antioxidants protect the eye against cataracts. (5) A cataract is a cloudy area that forms on the eye due to protein build-up. It is a chronic disease. (6) Studies show that people taking Lutein and Zeaxanthin are at a lower risk of developing new cataracts. These can be found in dark leafy vegetables. (5)
  3. Vitamin C: Progressing age can reduce the vitamin C concentration in the body. It is vital for the eye as it protects the harmful radiation coming from the Sun, i.e., ultraviolet, and the rays from devices we use in our daily life, i.e., blue light. It also protects the eye from oxidative damage. According to Yonova-Doing’s study, the progression of cataract development in twins revealed it was reduced by 33% in individuals that consumed vitamin C. (7)
  4. Vitamin E: It is an antioxidant that protects the eye from free radicals present in the atmosphere. It reduces the risk of progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) by 25% with consumption. Some studies have also found it beneficial for cataracts. (8)
  5. Essential Fatty acids (EFAs): EFAs are beneficial for treating dry eyes. Mahmood et al.’s research suggested that fatty acids, i.e., omega-3 and omega-6 supplements, effectively reduce inflammation and improve dry eye symptoms. (9)
  6. Zinc: Zinc is a mineral in high amounts in the macular region of the eye. Zinc helps make a pigment, melanin, for the look, along with vitamin A, melanin protects the eye. Zinc deficiency causes difficulty seeing in the dark but does not necessarily help see better when Zinc supplements are consumed. (10)

Among all the senses of the human body, the eyes provide instant protection. Losing sight can leave us vulnerable to threats and dangers in our surroundings. We must protect our eyes from physical hazards as well as take care of our eyes from the inside by consuming nutritious food.



  1. Lazarus, R. (2020, May 31). Eyes and nutrition.
  2. Study finds most Americans have good vision, but 14 million are visually impaired. (2006, May 9). National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  3. Thevi, T., Basri, M., & Reddy, S. C. (2012, April 30). Prevalence of eye diseases and visual impairment among the rural population – a case study of temerloh hospital. PubMed Central (PMC).
  4. 6 tips for eye health and maintaining good eyesight. (2011, October 4). WebMD.
  5. Diet and Nutrition, d., American Optometric Association (AOA).,a%20lot%20of%20other%20foods.
  6. What are cataracts? (2016, October 18). WebMD.
  7. Sissons, B. (n.d.). 4 essential vitamins for eye health. Medical and health information.
  8. Meixner, M. (2018, July 25). The 9 most important vitamins for eye health. Healthline.
  9. Mahmood, A., & Swailem, S. (2014, June 24). Essential fatty acids in the treatment of dry eye syndrome: A myth or reality? National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  10. Jaret, P. (2012, March 7). Zinc for vision. WebMD.