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  • Writer's pictureAtanas Bogoev M.D.

Antioxidants For a Healthier Body and Healthier Eyes

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Antioxidants - we hear about them everywhere and we know that they are good for our health and our eyes. But what EXACTLY are they? Learn more in this short but comprehensive article!

The science behind antioxidants

First, let's take a step back and understand what role antioxidants play in our bodies. I will try to simplify everything as much as possible. Antioxidants stabilize substances in our body called free radicals.

We all have free radicals. They are highly unstable molecules released from the body after exercise when food is converted into energy, as well as from toxins in the environment. Here are some examples of what generates free radicals:

  • Toxins

  • Smoking

  • UV Rays

  • Stress

  • Medications

  • Processed Foods

  • Radiation

Infographic including the above listed free radical sources

Antioxidants bind to free radicals and block them before they damage cells. The prevention of this type of cell damage is extremely important because it can lead to various diseases and faster cell aging.
Infographic free radicals vs antioxidants
Antioxidants bind to free radicals and "neutralize" them.

Eliminating free radicals and preventing the damage they do to your body is the reason why taking antioxidants is so important. Antioxidants are found naturally in fruits and vegetables, and research shows that eating more foods high in antioxidants can help protect against cell damage. Especially when it comes to the eyes!

Antioxidants and the Eyes

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataracts (darkening of the lens) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are the leading causes of visual impairment and acquired blindness in developed countries.

Research in the last few years found a positive association between nutrition and a reduction in the development and progression of these blinding conditions.

Human eye

Here are links to some of these relevant scientific researches:

Best antioxidants to boost eye health

Now, let's talk about which antioxidants are best for your eyes. Are you ready?

Vitamins C, E, and A and Carotenoids (Lutein and Zeaxanthin) are of great importance for your eye health. The latter two are found in large quantities in the retina (the back of the eye) and are indispensable to one's eyesight.

Adding antioxidant-rich foods to your daily diet can help keep your body and eyes healthy for longer.
Food for healthy eyes rich on antioxidants

Here are some foods, rich in eye-friendly antioxidants:

  • Vitamin C: oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, melon, green peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, pomegranate

  • Vitamin E: blueberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, peanut butter, cashews

  • Vitamin A: carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, sweets, salmon, tuna, yogurt

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin: spinach, lettuce, greens, peas, green beans, corn, eggs

  • Selenium: walnuts, whole grains, tuna

  • Zinc: Nuts, seafood, red meat, beans, and dairy products

Other foods high in antioxidants include prunes, cashews, apples, berries, eggplant, onions, and cabbage.

My opinion as a doctor: It is better to get your antioxidants through food instead of taking various pills and vitamin supplements.

Antioxidant rich food


The most important thing to remember from this article is to aim for a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, supplemented by healthy fats such as nuts (almonds, peanuts), fish, and eggs. But you already knew that, right? Well, right now we have greater, scientifically-supported evidence for this claim. Please refer to the research links in the Antioxidants and the Eyes section.

Thus, all that's left is to put aside processed sugary products and replace them with healthy fruits. The future of your vision depends on it.

If you have any questions or notes on the topic of antioxidants, feel free to leave a comment below. For more eye health articles, check out the Ophthalmology24 blog section for patients.

All medical facts were checked by Atanas Bogoev M.D.

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