You only have one set of eyes, so it's important to do all that you can to keep them healthy. There are several nutrients that are especially important for keeping your eyes in top condition. Make sure you're getting enough of these in your diet.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is actually a group of compounds, the best known of which is beta carotene. These antioxidants play several roles in maintaining eye health. They help keep the mucous membranes viable, allowing them to work as barriers to bacteria and other pathogens. They also help keep the cornea healthy. A deficiency of vitamin A increases your risk of eye infections, macular degeneration, and generalized eye inflammation.

The RDA for vitamin A is 900 micrograms per day for men and 700 micrograms per day for women. Good food sources of the nutrient include yellow and orange vegetables, eggs, milk, and fish. Aim to eat either a serving of fish or an orange veggie each day, and you'll be well on your way to meeting your vitamin A needs.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are best known for their effects on heart health, but they are essential for the eyes too. These fatty acids help create the lubricating property of tears. They also protect against problems including glaucoma and macular degeneration. Studies have shown that taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help alleviate dry eye symptoms.

While many people choose to get their omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and flax seed supplements, you can also obtain them from food sources including nuts, fish, and greens. Try eating a salad with nuts on it every day to boost your omega-3 intake. Experts recommend aiming for 500 milligrams of omega-3s per day.


Selenium is a mineral that can slow the growth of cataracts and prevent against other age-related eye problems. It's a natural antioxidant that also works with vitamin E to keep your immune system healthy, protecting you from infections in your eyes and throughout the rest of the body.

The RDA for selenium is 75 milligrams per day for men and 60 milligrams per day for women. Some good sources include beans, nuts, pork, beef, and eggs. Unless you're a vegetarian, you should be able to easily get enough selenium in your diet. If you do follow a vegetarian diet, ensuring that you eat plenty of eggs and beans can help you meet the RDA.

See your eye doctor for more tips and for important check ups.