6 min



How Diet & Nutrition Affect Eye Health

The adage 'you are what you eat' extends its influence to every facet of human health, including our vision. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet does more than just keep our bodies healthy; it also contributes significantly to eye health.
From combating Macular Degeneration to affecting Glaucoma and improving overall sight, the impact of diet and nutrition on our vision cannot be overstated. In this comprehensive article, we will explore how various elements of diet and nutrition affect eye health.

Check Your Eye Health - 60-Second Eye Test

“UV radiation can cause inflammation of the eye's surface and disrupt tear film - the eye's protective layer of moisture. This disruption can result in quicker evaporation of tears, leading to dry eyes.”

What are the Essentials for Nutrition & Good Eye Health?

The health and vitality of our eyes are significantly influenced by the various nutrients we consume. Among these, vitamins A, C, E, and B complex are vital. Vitamin A, for example, supports the functioning of the retina. At the same time, Vitamin C, an essential antioxidant, helps fight oxidative stress, which can damage our eyes. Vitamin E, on the other hand, plays a pivotal role in maintaining cell health, including those of our eyes.

What's in Our Eye Vitamins

What are the Essentials for Nutrition & Good Eye Health?

Similarly, minerals like zinc and copper contribute to our eyes' health and functioning. Zinc is known for transporting Vitamin A from the liver to the retina. At the same time, copper works synergistically with zinc, helping our bodies use antioxidants.

Moreover, Omega-3 fatty acids contribute significantly to retinal function and are known to help manage symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. Meanwhile, antioxidants like Lutein and Zeaxanthin help protect the eyes from harmful free radicals that can cause damage.

Foods rich in these nutrients include leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, fatty fish like salmon, whole grains, eggs, citrus fruits, and berries. Including these nutrient-dense foods in our diet is essential to maintaining and enhancing eye health.

Benefits of Lutein & Zeaxanthin

“Antioxidants like Lutein and Zeaxanthin help protect the eyes from harmful free radicals that can cause damage”

How does Vitamin A help your eyes?

Vitamin A, one of the most vital nutrients for eye health, contributes to maintaining the cornea's health, the clear front surface of the eye. Additionally, it supports the functioning of the retina and helps prevent conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale are excellent sources of vitamin A.

Given the plentiful presence of Vitamin A in everyday foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale, most balanced diets should provide an adequate amount, ELIMINATING the need for additional Vitamin A supplementation in most cases.

Eye Vitamins

How does Vitamin C help your eyes?

Vitamin C, an essential antioxidant, plays a vital role in preserving the health and function of our eyes. Its primary function involves combating oxidative stress, a harmful process that can cause significant damage to the cells in our eyes. Unchecked oxidative stress is a common contributing factor to many eye diseases, including Cataracts. This condition clouds the eye's lens, and Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss, particularly in older individuals.

Our bodies cannot produce vitamin C, so regular consumption is essential. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are well-known sources of vitamin C. Other fruits like strawberries also provide this crucial nutrient. Bell peppers, both green and red, are surprisingly rich in vitamin C. Broccoli, a versatile vegetable, is another fantastic source. Regularly consuming these foods as part of a balanced diet can contribute significantly to maintaining our eye health and overall well-being, ensuring an ample supply of this critical antioxidant.

Cataracts - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

“A diet rich in Omega-3 essential for preserving sight. They have potent anti-inflammatory properties, helpful in managing dry eye disease symptoms, leading to discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability.”

How do Omega-3 Fatty Acids support your Eye Health?

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for retinal health, which converts light into neural signals for our brain, making a diet rich in Omega-3 essential for preserving sight. They have potent anti-inflammatory properties, helpful in managing Dry Eye Disease symptoms, leading to discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability.

These fatty acids, particularly DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) enhance retinal function, responsible for light detection and vision. They improve the tear film's lipid layer, preventing tear fluid evaporation, thus reducing dry eye disease discomfort.

Common sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA, are fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, chia seeds and flaxseeds also provide a substantial amount of these essential nutrients. Including these in your diet supports overall eye health.

Your Complete Guide To Dry Eyes

How does Maqui Berry protect your eyes?

The Maqui berry, a remarkable fruit native to the untamed forests of Patagonia in Chile and Argentina. Often hailed as a 'super fruit,' this berry is a treasure trove of essential nutrients, particularly a unique class of flavonoids known as anthocyanins. These anthocyanins are potent antioxidants crucial in neutralising free radicals, thereby mitigating oxidative stress—a key factor in the pathogenesis of various ocular conditions, including Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Cataracts.

One of the most compelling advantages of Maqui berry is its efficacy in alleviating Dry Eye Syndrome, a condition characterised by insufficient tear production or rapid tear evaporation. The berry is rich in polyphenols and anthocyanins, which exhibit potent anti-inflammatory properties. These bioactive compounds modulate the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha, thereby reducing ocular surface inflammation. This, in turn, promotes increased tear production and improved tear film stability.

Moreover, Maqui berry is a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3s are integral components of the lipid layer of the tear film, which is essential for preventing tear evaporation. By enhancing the lipid layer, omega-3 fatty acids restore tear film homeostasis, thereby relieving Dry Eye Symptoms. Additionally, these fatty acids have been shown to downregulate the expression of inflammatory mediators, further contributing to the overall health of the ocular surface.

How Maqui Berry Protects Your Eyes

How does Maqui Berry protect your eyes?

  • Redness, stinging and itchy eyes. Sensitivity to light and blurred vision. Also, foreign body sensations - when you feel something in your eyes.
    Measure your Tear Break-Up Time with our simple 15-Second Blink Test. Measuring Tear film break-up time (TBUT) determines the stability of the tear film and checks whether you may have (evaporative) dry eyes.

  • The older you are (typically over 55), the more likely you are to produce less tears. We also see a higher incidence of this in women than men (especially those going through Perimenopause and Menopause). Other contributing factors include the intensive use of digital screens, constant and long periods of wearing Contact Lenses. Environmental factors such as cigarette smoke, air conditioning and pollution. Certain medications and Laser Eye Surgery can also increase.

  • With our Maqui Berry, studies showed an increase of 89 % in tear fluid production after 4 weeks. A Dry Eye-Related Quality-of-Life Score questionnaire (DEQS) demonstrates that participants (N=74) using our Maqui berry extract reported a significant reduction (57%, to be precise) in bothersome eye-related discomfort after 4 weeks of use.

  • “Bilberry is the prosecco of berries, and Maqui Berries the champagne. The higher concentration of anthocyanins makes maqui berry superior to bilberry - providing greater benefit to your eyes.”

    How are Maqui Berries better than Bilberries for your eyes?

    Maqui berries have a higher concentration of beneficial compounds, including anthocyanins, polyphenols, and omega oils, making them a better option for treating Dry Eyes than bilberries.

    Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that neutralise free radicals. Anthocyanins reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and support healthy eyesight. At the same time, omega oils help healthy cell membranes and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

    Maqui berries contain approximately 1387 mg of anthocyanins per 100 grams, making them one of the richest sources of these potent antioxidants. In comparison, bilberries contain around 300-700 mg of anthocyanins per 100 grams.

    Eye Vitamins

    Maqui Berries are better than Bilberries for your eyes (Cont.)

    Maqui berries contain a higher concentration of omega oils than bilberries.Omega oils are essential fatty acids critical for overall health and well-being. They support healthy cell membranes, improve brain function, and reduce inflammation.

    Maqui berries also contain a unique compound called delphinidin that may benefit your eye health. In published studies, researchers found that delphinidin improved the function of cells lining the blood vessels in the eyes, reducing inflammation and improving circulation. This may benefit eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts, which are associated with inflammation and poor eye circulation.

    Try Our 15-Second Blink Test

    Does too much Sugar damage your eyes?

    Sugar, in moderation, is a necessary part of our diet, supplying us with quick energy and playing a vital role in various bodily functions. However, when consumed excessively, sugar can lead to severe health complications. Overconsumption of sugar contributes significantly to the rise of obesity and diabetes. These two conditions are risk factors for various eye health issues.

    When our bodies have too much sugar, it can lead to high blood sugar levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia. This can cause considerable damage to the tiny blood vessels in our eyes. Over time, this damage can result in serious eye conditions. One is diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes complication affecting the eyes, leading to vision impairment or blindness. High blood sugar levels can also increase the risk of Glaucoma, a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, often due to abnormally high pressure in the eye.

    To maintain good eye health, monitoring and limiting sugar intake is crucial. This can be achieved through a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and routine check-ups to monitor blood sugar levels. Consuming fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains while avoiding sugary beverages and processed foods can contribute significantly to optimal eye health.

    What Is Glaucoma?

    How Obesity Affects your Eye Health?

    The relationship between obesity and eye health is significant and multifaceted. Excessive weight can negatively affect ocular health, leading to a heightened risk of several eye diseases. These include diabetic retinopathy, which affects the retina's blood vessels; Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in older adults; Cataracts, characterised by the clouding of the eye's natural lens; and Glaucoma, a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve.

    Given these potential risks, it's paramount to maintain a healthy weight to support eye health. This can be achieved by consuming a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains and incorporating regular physical activity into your lifestyle. Such proactive steps towards a healthier lifestyle significantly contribute to preserving eye health and overall well-being.

    What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

    “According to the World Health Organization, up to 20% of cataracts may be caused by overexposure to UV radiation and are avoidable”

    How does Dehydration affects your Eyes?

    Dehydration, a condition characterised by the body's lack of sufficient water, can surprisingly impact our eye health. It can lead to symptoms such as eye strain, which manifests as discomfort or fatigue in the eyes. Strain often arises when the eyes are not adequately lubricated, possibly when the body is dehydrated.

    Further, dehydration can lead to dry eyes and insufficient tear production. Tears are essential for maintaining the eye's health and providing clear vision. The body may not produce enough tears when dehydrated, leading to Dry Eye Symptoms such as redness, stinging, and a gritty sensation.

    Our test (click below) is based on the clinically-proven OSDI (Ocular Surface Disease Index) and checks how dry your eyes are - a crucial indicator of underlying health issues.

    Check Your Eye Health - 60-Second Eye Test

    How does Dehydration affects your Eyes?

    In more severe cases, dehydration can cause Blurred Vision. This occurs because the body's lack of water affects the eye's vitreous humour. This jelly-like substance helps maintain the eye's shape and optical properties.

    Therefore, maintaining adequate hydration is of paramount importance. By consuming enough fluids daily, particularly water, we can help ensure our eyes' optimal health and function, keeping these essential organs well-lubricated and functioning properly. Alongside a balanced diet, proper hydration can contribute significantly to maintaining and improving our overall eye health.

    What Causes Blurry Vision

    “The human body has developed some natural defences against UV light over the millennia. For instance, our eyebrows and eyelashes help to block some UV rays.”

    How does diet affect your Glaucoma?

    Glaucoma, a condition characterised by damage to the optic nerve, often due to high intraocular pressure, can lead to vision loss if not managed effectively. While no specific diet can cure Glaucoma, nutrition plays a pivotal role in managing the disease and maintaining overall eye health.

    A balanced diet is essential. Consuming various fruits and vegetables can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals that can help protect the eyes against damage. These include antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E and nutrients like lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are especially beneficial for eye health.

    Lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and legumes, can help maintain the body's tissue, including the eyes. Additionally, healthy fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, contribute significantly to retinal health and can help alleviate glaucoma symptoms.

    In conjunction with regular eye check-ups and appropriate medical treatment, maintaining a diet rich in these nutrients can help slow down the progression of Glaucoma and contribute to the overall well-being of the eyes. Staying hydrated, limiting caffeine intake, and reducing the consumption of foods high in sodium can further support eye health.

    What Is Glaucoma?

    Which foods should you Avoid for Optimal Eye Health?

    Achieving optimal eye health isn't only about eating the right foods but also limiting those that could be harmful. Processed foods, often high in unhealthy fats and sugars, should be consumed in moderation. They are known contributors to obesity and diabetes, conditions associated with various eye health issues like Glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Consuming too much salt can also lead to hypertension, impacting eye health.

    Similarly, alcohol, in excess, can lead to vision problems. Lastly, foods with trans and saturated fats, often found in fried and baked goods, can adversely affect your eye health, leading to conditions like macular degeneration.

    Eye Vitamins

    Which foods Should You Avoid for Optimal Eye Health? (cont.)

    For optimal eye health, it's essential to incorporate beneficial foods into your diet and limit or avoid those that can potentially harm your eyes. Top of the list are processed foods, typically high in unhealthy fats and sugars. These foods often have low nutritional value and can contribute to weight gain and conditions like obesity and diabetes. Both of these conditions can have a severe negative impact on eye health, leading to issues such as Glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. Additionally, overconsumption of sodium can increase blood pressure, leading to hypertension, increasing the risk of vision loss.

    Finally, it's also recommended to moderate alcohol intake, as excessive consumption can lead to various health problems, including those related to eye health. A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are crucial for maintaining good eye health.

    How Alcohol Affects Your Eyes

    “The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), a major clinical trial, showcased the significance of these nutrients, affirming that a supplement containing these could decelerate AMD in those predisposed to its advanced stages.”

    Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a common eye condition that affects the macula - the centre of the retina responsible for clear vision - is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. A nutrient-rich diet is vital to managing AMD's progression, packed with vitamins A, C, E, zinc, and antioxidants such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These elements work in unison to shield the eyes from damaging oxidative stress, a primary factor in AMD.

    The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), a major clinical trial, showcased the significance of these nutrients, affirming that a supplement containing these could decelerate AMD in those predisposed to its advanced stages. Foods rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin - mainly leafy greens and corn - also play a crucial role in protecting against harmful blue light and oxidative harm. Hence, a diet filled with these nutrient-dense foods is a strategic approach to maintaining eye health and slowing AMD's progression.

    What's in Our Eye Vitamins

    How does Alcohol affect your eyes?

    Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to short-term and more permanent long-term issues. We have a more detailed guide on alcohol and its effects on your eyes - link below.

    Short-term issues include blurry vision, dry eyes, twitching eyelids, bags under the eyes, and sensitivity to light.

    Longer-term issues include cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, optic neuropathy, persistent dry eyes, and colour vision changes.

    How Alcohol Affects Your Eyes

    “Alcohol reduces the oxygen in your blood, which causes the tiny blood vessels on the eye’s surface (the sclera) to dilate. This means more blood flows through them, giving your eyes an inflamed, red appearance.”

    What are Alcohol's short-term effects on your eyes?

  • One of the most immediate and noticeable effects of alcohol on our vision is blurry or distorted sight. This effect is due to the impact alcohol has on the brain and its communication with the eyes. Specifically, alcohol inhibits the neurotransmitters in our brains, slowing their pace and affecting how our brains process what we see.
    Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals throughout the body to trigger various physiological responses. When alcohol enters the system, it suppresses these messengers, causing delays and disruptions in signal transmission. As a result, the instructions sent from the brain to the eye muscles and the pupil become less precise and slower, leading to difficulty focusing. This causes blurred or double vision commonly associated with alcohol consumption.

  • Another significant short-term effect of alcohol on eyesight is a reduction in peripheral vision, often called "tunnel vision." This means that while your central vision remains relatively clear, your side (or peripheral) vision becomes increasingly blurry or distorted, creating a tunnel-like effect.
    Again, this is down to how alcohol impairs the brain's ability to process visual signals. The retina—the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye—sends signals about what we see to the brain, where these signals are processed into images. When alcohol is consumed, the brain's ability to interpret these signals effectively is compromised, particularly in the peripheral areas of our visual field.

  • Alcohol also causes physical changes to the eyes themselves. One of the most common short-term effects of alcohol consumption is bloodshot or red eyes. This is because alcohol causes blood vessels—including those in the eyes—to expand, a condition known as vasodilation.
    When the blood vessels in the whites of our eyes dilate, they become more visible, giving the eyes a reddish appearance. While this is generally temporary and resolves as the alcohol is metabolised and removed from the body, frequent occurrences can lead to the blood vessels in the eyes being permanently damaged, leading to persistently red eyes.
    Eye sprays and drops may be helpful, as well as some home remedies like placing a cold compress, or a spoon, which creates a drop in temperature on the eye surface, helping restrict the blood vessels and reduce the redness.

  • Alcohol is a diuretic, causing your body to remove fluids faster and giving you dry eyes. This dehydration extends to your eyes, accelerating the symptoms of dry eye syndrome (itchiness, a burning sensation, blurry vision, watery eyes etc.). Try to replace lost fluid with glasses of water. A rough guide is 1 large glass of water per 2 units of alcohol drunk. Also, remember to remove your contact lenses before going to bed, as they limit the amount of oxygen reaching your cornea - and may lead to long-term conditions like keratitis (inflammation of the cornea). Using an eye spray or eye drops is also recommended to give a boost of moisture.

  • Eyelid twitching is another indicator of (excessive) alcohol consumption. This painless, but annoying eye spasm is also known as myokymia. The twitching sensation should go away within a few days. If it lasts longer than 2 weeks, you should see a doctor. If you find your eyelids twitch on a regular basis, it may be because of stress, lack of sleep, too much caffeine or a vitamin deficiency.

  • Alcohol causes your body to dehydrate, which in turn causes your organs (which includes your skin) to 'fight back' by retaining water - which may lead to bags under eyes.

  • Alcohol can slow the reaction time of your pupils, making them less responsive to changes in light. This can result in increased sensitivity to light and difficulties adjusting from dark to bright environments.

  • This is a quite common. It’s a symptom of dry eyes and dry eye disease for some people. The diuretic effects of alcohol cause your body to remove water (through your urine) at a higher rate. This dehydrates your eyes, accelerating the symptoms of dry eye syndrome (which include itchiness, a burning sensation, blurry vision, and for some people, watery eyes).

  • What are Alcohol's long-term effects on your eyes?

  • One of the most common eye conditions associated with heavy drinking over a prolonged period is the development of Cataracts. Cataracts involve the clouding of the eye's lens, which sits behind the iris and pupil. This clouding can interfere with the quality of the light that reaches the retina, leading to blurry or foggy vision and, if left untreated, blindness.
    The link between alcohol and cataracts isn't entirely understood. Still, research suggests heavy drinking might contribute to cataracts' onset and progression. One reason might be the nutritional deficiencies commonly seen in people with chronic alcohol use, as nutrients like vitamins C and E and antioxidants are crucial for eye health.

  • Long-term alcohol use is also linked to an increased risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This condition affects the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. Over time, AMD can lead to a loss of central vision, impacting activities like reading, driving, and recognizing faces.
    Again, the precise relationship between alcohol and AMD is not entirely clear. However, it's thought that alcohol's toxic effects, combined with malnutrition often seen in chronic alcoholics, could contribute to damage in the macula, leading to AMD.

  • Another severe eye condition related to chronic alcohol use is optic neuropathy, sometimes called tobacco-alcohol amblyopia. This condition involves damage to the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibres that transmit visual information from your eyes to your brain. When these fibres are damaged, the transmission of visual information is disrupted, leading to vision loss.
    Alcohol-induced optic neuropathy is often associated with poor dietary habits common in alcoholism. Deficiencies in particular nutrients, especially B vitamins, can harm the optic nerve. Moreover, the toxic effect of alcohol itself may directly damage this crucial nerve.

  • Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to persistent dry eyes due to its diuretic effect. Over time, this chronic dryness can damage the cornea and lead to discomfort and vision problems.

  • This condition involves changes to the vitreous humour, the gel-like substance inside the eye. Alcohol, especially when consumed heavily, may contribute to this degeneration, leading to floaters, flashes, and potentially more serious eye conditions.

  • Chronic alcohol use can impair the ability to differentiate between different colours, especially shades of blue and green.

  • Also known as amblyopia. A lazy eye can stem from excessive drinking, which increases your risk of vision loss and/or permanent damage.

  • Vitamins are essential for eye function. Heavy drinking drains your body's natural reserves - which may result in optic neuritis. This condition inflames the optic nerve, leading to loss of central vision and blurry vision.

  • How do Antioxidants help your eyes?

    Antioxidants play a pivotal role in safeguarding our eyes from harmful free radicals - unstable molecules that can cause significant damage to our cells. Among the most potent antioxidants are Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E. They provide a protective shield against the oxidative damage these free radicals can inflict on our eyes, damage which could lead to serious eye conditions like Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

    Lutein and Zeaxanthin, found in high concentrations in the eye's macula, are known to filter harmful blue light and ward off oxidative damage. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and eggs are excellent sources of these antioxidants.

    Vitamins C and E, on the other hand, play an essential role in maintaining the health of your eyes' tissues and cells. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C. At the same time, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens are good sources of vitamin E. Berries, too, are packed with these antioxidants.

    How Blue Light Affects Your Eyes & Sleep

    Does your diet affect Cataracts?

    Cataracts, characterised by the clouding of the eye's natural lens, are a common cause of vision loss, especially among the elderly. Research increasingly highlights the significant role of diet in developing and managing this condition.

    Evidence suggests that a diet abundant in antioxidants and essential vitamins can help slow the progression of cataracts. These elements combat oxidative stress, a critical factor in cataract development. Foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E and leafy greens containing lutein and Zeaxanthin can provide these beneficial antioxidants.

    Conversely, a diet high in sodium, alcohol, and unhealthy fats might speed up the development of cataracts. High sodium intake can lead to hypertension, increasing the risk of cataracts. Overconsumption of alcohol and unhealthy fats, often associated with obesity, can also induce oxidative stress, exacerbating Cataract progression.

    Cataracts - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

    “One of the most common eye conditions associated with heavy drinking over a prolonged period is the development of Cataracts. The link between Alcohol and Cataracts isn't entirely understood. Still, research suggests heavy drinking might contribute to cataracts' onset and progression.”


    In conclusion, while genetics and age play significant roles in our eye health, a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can go a long way in maintaining good vision and slowing the progression of various eye conditions.

    Like the rest of your body, your eyes will significantly benefit from a lifestyle centred around whole foods, regular exercise, good hydration, and controlled intake of harmful substances like sugar and alcohol.

    How Alcohol Affects Your Eyes

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