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Nutrition for Healthy Eyes
 
 
By : Jayson Kroner
 
 
 

As one of the body's most powerful sensory organs, the eyes-like every other human system-are at the mercy of many factors. In addition to protecting them against harmful ultraviolet rays, getting regular exams, and using general common sense, the eyes also have nutritional needs that must be met.

Sadly, far too many individuals spend their lives under the impression that, over the years, the eyes simply lose their focus. And while it is true that the aging process can hinder how well they function, many vision imbalances are preprogrammed in our DNA. Some develop during adolescence, in accordance with the body's rapidly shifting hormonal activity, while still others have their onset much later in life.

One thing that does not change from person to person is the importance of providing the eyes with the nutrients they need. So unless you're among the few who are born into a world of perfect 20/20, let's take a look at some of today's most popular and effective eye-supporting compounds.

Beta-Carotene

Rabbits and carrots and ultra healthy vision - who among us has not heard this analogy by now? Still, there's no denying the fact that beta-carotene is one of the most effective nutrients when it comes to supporting a healthy set of peepers. One of its primary functions is to protect and condition the cornea, the thin, clear outer layer that shields the eye's inner components from debris. Beta-carotene is also a relentless free-radical fighter that helps protect the cells of the eyes from oxidative damage.*

Lutein

This naturally-occurring carotenoid is commonly found in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, as well as egg yolks. Many systems throughout the body rely on it, with the eyes being one of the most substantial. Since the human body is incapable of manufacturing lutein, it must be obtained from the diet. With regard to vision, lutein has strong antioxidant properties that help protect ocular structures from free radical damage. It also safeguards light-sensitive components, including the lens, macula, and retina.

Bilberry

Native to the United States and northern Europe, these tasty berries are rich in flavonoid anthocyanosides-a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to possess remarkable cell-protecting properties.* A number of clinical studies have suggested that the active components in Bilberry can support healthy night vision, while strengthening blood vessels, staving off oxidation, and assisting the body in adjusting from bright to dark settings.

NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)

This sulfur-containing amino acid plays a number of roles within the body, including several that affect eye health and visual integrity. One of its most impressive involves its ability to increase the body's production of glutathione. In doing so, NAC has been shown to provide exceptional protection against free radicals caused by debris and other environmental factors.

Remember, the eyes are unique in that they are extremely vulnerable and fully exposed to the world around them. This increases their need for protection against environmental agents that can result in injury or infection. Additionally, the head is one of the last regions of the body to receive antioxidants, and most are used by the body before ever making it.