Vitamins are something your body needs in order to live and grow. All organisms need vitamins, and when our bodies don’t make enough, we go out and eat them. When we eat, our bodies break food down into components like vitamins. Some vitamins are stored in fat for use later when our bodies need them. Some vitamins are stored in water, meaning they don’t stick around our bodies very long, so it’s important to eat your vitamins! Now some folks prefer to take vitamins in pill form, but our food can provide all we need - if we eat the right things.
There are 13 known vitamins, 3 of which have been proven to help your eyes. Foods rich in vitamins A, C and E are good for your eyes and general health. Vitamin A is good for the cornea. Vitamins C and E can help prevent eye diseases when you get older such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Starting a vitamin-rich diet now will give you healthy habits to follow all your life.
- Vitamin C: is stored in water. It can be found in most fruits and vegetables, especially oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, green peppers and tomatoes.
- Vitamin E: is stored in fat. Look for it in vegetable oils (safflower and corn oil), nuts (almonds and pecans), wheat germ and sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin A: is stored in fat. It comes from milk, egg yolks and liver. But you can also get Vitamin A by eating foods with beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted in the small intestine to retinol- a form of Vitamin A. Beta-carotene can be found in fruits and vegetables that are deep orange or yellow such as cantaloupe, mangos, apricots, peaches, sweet potatoes, squash and carrots.