Many foods contain nutrients which can help your dry eye. What do different foods provide, and which are best for your eyes?
Dry eye is an all too common condition, often leading individuals to seek the expertise of an eye doctor or optometrist. While this condition can be uncomfortable, there are as many preventive measures as there are causes. The best foods for dry eye play an important role in these preventive strategies.
An effective way to fend off dry eye is to increase your intake of essential nutrients that enhance tear quality and quantity. Supplements can help, but arguably the most effective way is through nutrient-rich foods. The body tends to absorb vitamins and other nutrients more efficiently from food than supplements.
Let's explore some of the best foods for dry eye, as recommended by our eye care professionals.
Fish, a staple in many eye care clinics' nutritional advice, are excellent for combating dry eye symptoms. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they help reduce inflammation in the tear ducts, promoting high-quality tears that function optimally. When looking for the best foods for dry eye, fish should be high on your list.
Most fish, including herring, halibut, tuna, and salmon, are rich in omega-3s. Seafood like oysters also have high omega-3 content, in addition to providing ample zinc.
For vegetarians and vegans seeking an alternative to fish, seeds are another one of the best foods for dry eye. Chia seeds and flaxseed, for instance, are fantastic sources of omega-3s, and flaxseed oil is a common substitute for fish oil.
Nuts are another omega-3-rich food and are also abundant in the antioxidant Vitamin E and Zinc, making them a favorite among eye care professionals. Vitamin E aids in combating age-related damage to the eyes, a common disruptor of tear production.
Walnuts and cashews, in particular, offer a healthy dose of both omega-3s and Vitamin E. Meanwhile, peanuts—technically legumes—are also a valuable source of omega-3s.
Beans are nutrient-dense and are typically encouraged as part of a healthy diet. Besides being protein and fiber-rich, they provide zinc and folate—two elements crucial for eye health.
Zinc is vital as it encourages melanin production, safeguarding your eyes from damage—a key consideration for dry eye sufferers.
Eye doctors often recommend leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and collards, due to their high folate and Vitamin C content.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps fend off age-related damage and contributes to overall eye health. Additionally, these greens are rich in carotenoids, antioxidants that inhibit cellular damage.
Water, while not nutrient-specific, is crucial for healthy tear production. Dry eye is often a result of dehydration, especially for those living in dry, hot areas.
Maintaining proper hydration is paramount for general health but is particularly vital for your eyes. Without enough water, your body struggles to produce sufficient tears!
These foods, naturally high in Omega 7, are often recommended by our optometrists. Omega-7 aids cell membranes in retaining moisture and may alleviate dry eye symptoms by reducing redness, irritation, and inflammation.