These dietary intake recommendations for eye health are guidelines.
Try to get this much of these antioxidants from your foods every day, but don't beat yourself up for not reaching these levels.
Not reaching the dietary intake recommendations for eye health of an antioxidant now and then is not going to doom you to life with an age-related Eye Disease.
Besides, you'll be taking supplements for most of these Eye Health Antioxidants anyway.
You need at least 20,000 IU (International Units) of beta-carotene every day for good Healthy Eyes.
The dietary intake recommendations for eye health is 20,000 IU per day from your diet.
Be aware that beta-carotene has been linked with a higher rate of lung cancer in smokers, and high doses may be toxic if taken with alcohol.
Also, your skin may start to turn a yellowish orange color since beta-carotene can accumulate under your skin. (This effect diminishes when you cut back your intake of beta-carotene.)
Don’t like carrots?
Don’t want to eat carrots every day?
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
You need at least 6 mg (milligrams, or thousandths of a gram) of Lutein for Vision and zeaxanthin every day from your diet. The dietary intake recommendation is 6-10 mg per day.
Vitamin B Complex
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) deficiency has been connected to Cataract formation, so supplementation is warranted.
However, please note that more than 10 mg per day should not be used if you already have Cataracts, as riboflavin is a photosensitizing chemical.
The interaction of light, oxygen and riboflavin in the eye produces super oxide Free Radicals, which can cause more cataract damage.
If you have cataracts, keep your intake of riboflavin below 10 mg per day to ensure that it does not do more harm than good.
You need at least 1,000 mg of Vitamin C daily to help preserve your sight.
You’ll find it very difficult to get this much Vitamin C from your diet, so take a 500 mg supplement and add 500 mg from your diet.
If you suffer from glaucoma, you will probably need to take at least 2,000 mg per day, and perhaps as high as 35,000 mg per day.
Your ophthalmologist can help you determine what level of supplementation is best for you.
You should have between 100 IU and 400 IU of Vitamin E to Protect Your Eyesight from the effects of oxidation.
You can take up to 800 IU before Vitamin E concentrations become toxic (which happens very rarely), but do not take this much if you are using anticoagulants, as Vitamin E also thins the blood.
Most of the best sources of Vitamin E are oils or oily foods, such as seeds, nuts, and wheat germ oil.
Since a lot of fat in your diet can lead to arteriosclerosis ( see Eliminating Harmful Lifestyle Choices ) and decreased circulation to your eyes, you shouldn’t try to get all your Vitamin E from foods.
Instead, take a 400 IU supplement daily (or a 200 IU supplement twice daily), and try for the dietary intake recommendations for eye health of 100 IU from your diet.
As mentioned earlier, selenium and Vitamin E work together synergistically, that is, they work better together than either does on its own
You need at least 70 mcg (micrograms, or millionths of a gram) of selenium per day.
The dietary intake recommendations for eye health for selenium is at least 50 mcg from your diet. Whole grains and seafood are the best foods to give you this amount.
The dietary intake recommendations for eye health is to get at least 50 mg per day of zinc from your diet.
Zinc is a mineral that has been farmed out of North American soils, so many crops have little zinc to offer you.
Meats are higher in zinc, and so are good sources of this important mineral, as long as you don’t eat too much of them due to their high fat content ( see Eliminating Harmful Lifestyle Choices ). Stick to fish and poultry to keep the fat content down.
Zinc levels in your body can be lowered by oral contraceptive and hormone use, and by certain medical conditions.
If you are taking hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives, you may need to take even more zinc so that you can get your dietary intake recommendations for eye health.
Your body needs 2 to 4 mg of copper per day.
There is very little copper available in our foods, with the highest amounts in nuts, lentils and dried beans.
Since there is so little copper available in food, there is no dietary intake recommendations for eye health for it.
You should take your 2 to 4 mg daily as a supplement.
Copper supplementation is a must if you are taking zinc, as it tends to interfere with the absorption of copper in your body.
You need up to 8.5 mg of manganese per day, with up to 5 mg coming from your diet.
The intestines absorb manganese poorly, so you need to ensure you get at least 5 mg per day.
A supplement will provide 3.5 mg.
Subscribe to EyeSight Vision Care! , our monthly newsletter with in depth information to help you keep up to date on how to Protect Your Eyesight with a free bonus. Fill out the form below. You'll then receive an email asking you to confirm that you subscribed. You'll always have the option to unsubscribe at the click of your mouse.