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These Antioxidants Can Protect Your Eyes From Bright Lights*

Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN
Author:
June 01, 2024
Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
By Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN is a Registered Dietician Nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Texas Christian University and a master’s in nutrition interventions, communication, and behavior change from Tufts University. She lives in Newport Beach, California, and enjoys connecting people to the food they eat and how it influences health and wellbeing.
woman squinting in sun
Image by Guille Faingold / Stocksy
June 01, 2024
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If you’re anything like me, the sun hits my eyes hard. As soon as I step outside on a bright day, I’m squinting horribly, and tears are running down my face.

Of course, a stellar pair of sunglasses is vital, but there’s more we can do to protect our eyes from harmful rays of light—including supplementing with certain antioxidants.* 

As a dietitian, I had to dig into the research.

Meet lutein and zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants (carotenoids, to be more exact) that are naturally found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables (such as leafy greens and bell peppers).

In general, we know antioxidants to be good for health, but lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly beneficial for our eyes. 

That’s because these carotenoids1 are also found in the eye. That’s right. High concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin are present in the macula2—the center of the retina. 

And this part of the eye where there are a lot of photoreceptor cells.

How can they protect your eyes from light?

The macula is especially prone to oxidative stress3 from free radicals. The constant light exposure (from the sun and even from screens) penetrates deeply into the retinal tissue and increases the presence of free radicals—which is not ideal. 

While we most often associate UV light with the sun, it’s important to remember that the sun emits all forms of visible light—including blue light, that’s often talked about in reference to screen use

By taking in extra lutein and zeaxanthin, you are helping to bolster the concentration4 of these antioxidants in the eye, increasing the eye’s ability to scavenge (aka deal with) these harmful free radicals.*

Optometrist Kelsea Brown, O.D. previously told mindbodygreen, “Lutein helps to protect the macula by absorbing undesirable wavelengths5 of blue light and stopping them from reaching certain layers of the retina, reducing the likelihood of photo-oxidative stress."

 Overall, these antioxidants are an internal layer of protection for the eyes.*

Get a pair of internal sunglasses

While eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin is a great place to start for promoting overall eye health, a vision supplement is the way to go for more targeted support. mindbodygreen’s eye health+ delivers a research-backed dose of both lutein and zeaxanthin in addition to three other powerful antioxidants: 

  • Astaxanthin: This antioxidant is derived from red algae reduces eye fatigue and helps you recover from screen use.*
  • Maqui berry: This is a great phytonutrient to soothe dry eyes, as it promotes tear production.*
  • Saffron: Extracts from this well-known spice support the sharpness of your vision and even ease pressure in the eyes.*

Most vision supplements just contain a mix of foundational micronutrients (like vitamins A, C, D, and E as well as zinc and copper).

These nutrients do support healthy vision, but they’re also ones you can find in a high-quality multivitamin.

What’s unique about eye health+ is that it delivers researched-back ingredients (at effective doses) of antioxidants that you just can’t get the quantities of through diet alone.*  

The takeaway

It’s time to upgrade your eye protection with eye health+ to support your eyes at the cellular level.*

I just received my first bottle of it and feel confident and prepared walking into this summer with a daily supply of free-radical scavenging ocular antioxidants and new prescription sunglasses.* 

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

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