Vitamin C is well-known for the many benefits that it gives to our immune system. However, did you know that Vitamin C is also good for your eyes?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in many fruits and vegetables, one of which is blueberries. It is a powerful antioxidant and also plays an important role in connective tissue formation and maintenance. This includes the collagen found in the cornea of our eyes!
Commonly found in the elderly and associated with aging, cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eyes. This could lead to a decrease in vision. Oxidative damage is a suspected cause that may lead to the formation of cataracts. Since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it may help to delay or even prevent the formation of cataracts. In fact, the results from 2 case-control studies have shown a 70% to 75% reduced risk of cataract when daily vitamin C intake is greater than 300 mg. Vitamin C has also been known to be used as a therapy for glaucoma, by working to reduce the elevated pressure in the eye.
Unfortunately, humans are unable to produce vitamin C on our own. The only way to get our daily dose of vitamin C is from food or supplements that we eat. This is why it is so important that we incorporate it into our diets. Luckily, there are many excellent (and tasty!) natural sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, and green leafy veggies. For adults, the recommended daily amount for vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg), which is the equivalent of consuming 1 medium orange or three-quarters of a cup of fresh, sliced strawberries. Easily destroyed by heat, an easy way to reach the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is to eat them raw.
There is a myth that the more vitamin C you take, the healthier your eyes will be. However, this is not the truth. Due to the water-soluble nature of this vitamin, your body actually gets rid of any excess amounts of vitamin C. Although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, taking excess amounts (> 1000 mg per day) can lead to stomach pain, diarrhoea, and flatulence. So eat a diverse variety of foods, in moderation, and your eyes will reap the benefits.
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