It’s National Eye Health Week and like all of the other systems in your body, your eyes can be affected by what and how you eat.

Most of us have been told, “carrots help you to see in the dark” at some point but let’s take a look at some of the other foods and nutrients that are essential for good eye health.

Antioxidants are integral to good eye health, particularly carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are potent free-radical busters so they prevent damage to the retina. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the found in green leafy vegetables, avocados and green peppers. Make sure that you have some kind of oil with them as this helps with the absorption of the antioxidants.

Look After your Eyes — Cataracts and B vitamins

A recent study shows that B vitamins could have a protective effect against cataracts. The study, published in the journal Ophthalmology was large, involving over 3000 people and looked at vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B12 .

The researchers, led by Tanya Glaser, MD, found that the B vitamins could slow down the development of cataracts. The results showed B2 and B12 lowered the risk of moderate cataracts by 38% and B6 lowered the risk of cataracts by 33%.

Cataracts are often the result of oxidative stress and B vitamins may work with antioxidants as co-factors to combat damage to the eye. It is more convenient to take a B complex supplement rather than individual B vitamins.

But don’t forget to eat your carrots!