Our diet has a big effect on our general health and our well-being. That is why it is evident that an incorrect or unbalanced diet has an effect on the health of our eyes and our tear film. But with which foodstuffs can you support your eyes? Which nutrients are good for the composition of the tear film and which vitamins does the eye need? And are carrots really good for your eyesight?
Omega fatty acids for dry eyes
Certain vitamins, trace elements and fatty acids are particularly good for our tear film. If they are not made available to your body in sufficient quantities, this can lead to the film of fluid rupturing and thereby to dry eyes.
Omega fatty acids are jointly responsible for forming the stabilising oil layer in the tear film. If this outer layer of the lubricating film is disrupted, it leads to the typical symptoms of dry eyes, such as redness, itching or burning. In addition, omega fatty acids appear to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids belong to the essential nutrients, that means that they cannot be produced by your body itself but are vital. Supplying them via foodstuffs is therefore indispensable. Omega-3 and omega-6 are present in various foodstuffs, especially fish and oils:
- Fish: trout, salmon, mackerel, cod
- Meat: pork liver, lard
- Other animal products: eggs, cheese
- Oils: safflower oil, linseed oil, walnut oil, rapeseed oil
Alongside omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, zinc as well as the vitamins B6, B12, E and C in particular, can improve symptoms of dry eyes. They play an important role in the health of your eyes.
Trace elements and vitamins for your eyes
We like to tell children that they should eat carrots in order to get better eyes. Although eyesight cannot be improved through foodstuffs, a suitable, vitamin-rich diet can, however, contribute to your eyes staying healthy and functional. Carrots really are good for your eyes because they contain a lot of beta-carotene, which is needed for sight. The following nutrients are especially valuable for the health of your eyes:
- Vitamin A (retinol), or its preliminary stage beta-carotene, is needed for the visual process. Among other things, it is found in carrots, pumpkins, apricots, spinach, tomatoes, dairy products and liver.
- Vitamin B2 protects your eyes from cell damage and is found in dairy products, whole-grain products, broccoli and avocado.
- Your eye needs vitamin B6 for a functioning tear film. It is present in salmon, sardines, mackerel, goose, potatoes and kale.
- Also important for lubricating the eye: Vitamin B12. It is contained in beef liver, calf’s and pork liver, mackerel as well as to a smaller extent in dairy products and eggs.
- Vitamin C plays an important role for a functioning tear film as well as protecting against oxidative stress. It can be found in acerola berries, rosehip, peppers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
- Vitamin E is also required for protecting against cell damage as well as dry eyes. The vitamin is contained in mackerel, wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, pepper, spinach, red currants and mangos.
- The trace element zinc is directly involved in the visual process and is found in cheese, nuts, sweetcorn, peas and lentils.
In general: the health of your eyes and your tear film can be well supported through a healthy, varied and vitamin-rich diet. Normally, no dietary supplements have to be taken for this. A varied diet contains all the minerals, oils, trace elements and vitamins for your eyes.