Oily fish, nuts, citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, and many other foods contain nutrients that may benefit eye health.

Nutrients in foods, such as zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene, may help reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health.

Other nutrients for eye health include omega-3 fatty acids, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

This article examines the evidence for 10 nutrient-rich foods that boost eye health. We also discuss other tips for healthy eyes and eye health warning signs.

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Many fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Oily fish have oil in their gut and body tissue, so eating them offers higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil. The fish that contains the most beneficial levels of omega-3s include:

Research shows that diet can heavily influence eye health, and omega-3 fatty acids are a key component.

Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain a high level of vitamin E, which can help protect the eye from age-related damage.

Nuts are available for purchase in most grocery stores and online. Nuts and legumes that can help maintain eye health include:

Like nuts and legumes, seeds are high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E.

Seeds are available for purchase in most grocery stores and online. Seeds high in omega-3 include:

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Like vitamin E, vitamin C is an antioxidant that the American Optometric Association recommends to fight age-related eye damage.

Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits include:

Leafy green vegetables are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin and are a high source of eye-friendly vitamin C.

Well-known leafy greens include:

Carrots are rich in both Vitamin A and beta-carotene, which gives carrots their orange color.

Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light.

Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and a high source of the antioxidant vitamin E.

Beef is rich in zinc, which links to better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration.

The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina and the vascular tissue surrounding the retina.

Meats such as chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc but at lower levels than beef.

Eggs are a high source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also suitable sources of vitamins C and E and zinc.

Fluids are essential to life and eye health. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which may reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.

The current daily recommendations for healthy eye nutrients, as suggested by the American Academy of Ophthalmology to slow the progression of eye disease, are:

  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 400 international units of vitamin E
  • 10 mg lutein
  • 2 mg zeaxanthin
  • 80 mg of zinc oxide
  • 2 mg of copper oxide

The following strategies may help ensure healthy eyes:

  • wearing sunglasses outside since excessive sun exposure can cause cataracts
  • stopping smoking, if applicable
  • getting regular eye exams, mainly if there is a family history of eye disease
  • wearing eye protection when working with possible eye irritants or dangerous chemicals
  • washing hands before applying contacts
  • wearing contacts only for the time that the doctor or manufacturer recommends
  • protecting eyes from computer-related eyestrain by looking away every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness. People with this condition need to monitor blood sugar levels carefully, take medications exactly as their doctor prescribes, and manage carbohydrate intake while focusing on eating low-moderate glycemic index foods.

Early treatment for eye health problems can prevent them from worsening. People who notice changes in their vision need to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Possible symptoms that a person may be experiencing vision trouble include:

  • frequent changes in visual clarity
  • seeing distorted images
  • seeing floaters or flashes in the field of vision
  • reduced peripheral vision

Here are some frequently asked questions about foods for eye health.

What foods are best for eye health?

Foods that are best for eye health include oily fish, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Which fruit is best for eye vision?

Citrus fruits, such as grapefruits and oranges, are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for maximum eye health.

How can I improve my eye health naturally?

Some tips for improving eye health include stopping smoking, eating a nutritious diet, wearing sunglasses, and having regular eye exams.

Which vitamin is good for the eyes?

Vitamins for maximum eye health include vitamins A, C, and E.

Eating a varied diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins is enough to ensure most people get the right nutrients for eye health.

Individuals who cannot get these nutrients from their diet can ask an eye doctor about eye health supplements.

People with vision problems or very restrictive diets can talk with an eye health provider about the right foods to eat.