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Eat For Your Eyes This Christmas

healthy eating for eye health

4 Nutrients Good for Vision and Eye Health, Along with the Foods that Contain Them

With an increase in celebrations and social events over Christmas, it can be challenging to care for your overall health, including your eyes. Knowing which foods contain important nutrients can help you navigate the holiday season.

As optometrists we’re concerned mostly about the foods which are of value to your eye health and eyesight so have compiled this list accordingly, to help you care for your eyes this Christmas. We hope you find it to be a useful guide in choosing meals and for your own meal planning over the festive season and beyond.

Vitamin A

Let’s start with vitamin A. Did you know that night blindness is often one of the first signs of a vitamin A deficiency? Not only is vitamin A beneficial to a healthy functioning ocular surface, it is also a requirement for the healthy formation of the photoreceptor rhodopsin. This photopigment (found in rod cells of the retina), is especially helpful in allowing your eyes to see at night.

Vitamin A also helps protect against childhood blindness (though it has not been proven to prevent myopia, so don’t get the two confused).

Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children, so be sure to include vitamin A in your family’s diet.

eggs for healthy eyes
Examples of foods rich in vitamin A include spinach, broccoli, apricot, grapefruit, mango, oranges, avocado, nectarines, carrots, sweet potatoes, cheese and eggs.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the delicate capillaries in the retina and is necessary in the formation and maintenance of collagen (a protein that provides strength and structure). Research has shown that a lack of collagen is one of the leading causes of glaucoma and cataracts. As you get older, your body produces less collagen so it’s important to make sure you get enough vitamin C to help in the production of collagen. Vitamin C also plays a crucial role in supporting a healthy immune system.

You’ll find the best sources of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables. Include citrus fruit such as oranges, kiwifruit, lemon, grapefruit; and other fruit in your diet, such as strawberries and tomatoes. Plums, cherries, blackcurrants, chili peppers and sweet yellow peppers contain even higher levels of vitamin C. Good vegetables to eat include broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts.
fresh fruit for eye health

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your body’s cells – including your eye cells – from free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage cells and also cause disease). Vitamin E also lowers the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Foods rich in vitamin E include hazelnuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, cooking oils, salmon and avocado.


Zinc plays an important role in keeping your eyes healthy. It helps create a pigment called melanin which protects the eye and studies also show this may help slow age-related, macular degeneration.

Interestingly, a lack of zinc can also cause headaches, blurred vision, excessive blinking and even neck pain.

Good sources for zinc include oysters, crab, lobster, beef, pork, chicken and turkey, mushrooms, kale, garlic, broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pecans and peanuts.
good foods for eye health

As with all things, moderation is key so be sure to follow recommended daily amounts for all the above and cheers to a happy Christmas.

Do you need to see us?

If you are concerned at all about your vision, remember you can go online anytime to book an appointment with us at Black Gates Optometrists in Lower Hutt or Johnsonville.

Please note we are taking a two week break over the holidays to give our team a well-deserved rest. Our last day for 2022 will be Friday, 23 December and we will reopen on Monday, 9 January 2023. During this time our online booking system is available to take bookings. Take a look at what appointments are left before the end of 2022 and book today, or get a head start on 2023 by clicking here.