Vitamins and Minerals Essential for Vision Health

Written by: Brilliant Staff

Fact checked by: Kelsey Butler, RDN

a pair of reading glasses on a Snellen chart with colorful vegetables

From the early morning sun to the intricacies of our favorite movie, our eyes are pivotal players in capturing these visual experiences. As such, caring for our eyesight is crucial. 

While genetics may play a role, a well-balanced diet can make a difference. This article will explore the vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining robust vision, including vitamin A, vitamin E, lycopene, and lutein. We will also discuss dosages, natural food sources, and supplementation, ensuring you know how to fortify your eye health. Let's dive in!

The Essentials: Vitamins and Nutrients for Eye Health

Vitamin A: The Gateway to Sight

Vitamin A is integral to the eyes' photoreceptors, enabling us to see even in low light levels. Retinol, a form of vitamin A, supports cell growth — which is essential for a healthy cornea — and aids in preventing night blindness. 

Daily Requirements:

  • Men: 900 micrograms (mcg) per day
  • Women: 700 mcg per day


  • Natural: Liver, fish, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens
  • Supplements: Vitamin A can be taken as a standalone supplement or as part of multivitamins.

Vitamin E: The Protector

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the eyes from oxidative stress (AMD).

Daily Requirements:

  • Adults: 15 milligrams (mg) per day


  • Natural: Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, avocado, and vegetable oil
  • Supplements: Vitamin E supplements are widely available and often included in multivitamin formulas.

Lycopene: The Superhero

An antioxidant powerhouse, lycopene's natural red pigments contribute to its antioxidant properties, which help protect the eyes from oxidative stress.

Daily Requirements:

  • There's no official recommended daily amount. However, research indicates consuming two to 10 mg of lycopene per day through diet can provide health benefits.


  • Natural: Tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, guava, and red bell peppers
  • Supplements: Lycopene supplements are available, but it's best to consult a healthcare professional before starting a regimen.

Lutein: The Natural Sunglasses

Lutein is a carotenoid most famous for providing blue light eye support, reducing occasional glare, and supporting overall eye health. It also works synergistically with zeaxanthin to improve overall well-being.

Daily Requirements:

  • 10 mg per day


  • Natural: Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens, in addition to corn, oranges, and eggs
  • Supplements: Lutein is often found combined with zeaxanthin supplements or in multivitamin formulas, but it's essential to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.

How the Essentials Come Together: Synergistic Effects

These vitamins and nutrients are even more potent when acting in synergy. For example, lutein works best when combined with vitamin A, allowing better support. 

Additional Support: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Recent research demonstrates that omega-3 fatty acids may alleviate dry eyes, combat oxidative stress, and allow for optimal retinal function. 

Daily Requirements:

  • 250 to 500 mg combined EPA and DHA


  • Natural: Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna, along with chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts
  • Supplements: Fish oil or algal oil supplements can provide the necessary omega-3 fatty acids.

Wrapping Up: A 360° Approach to Eye Health

Maintaining healthy eyes requires a comprehensive approach, including proper nutrition, blue light protection through eyewear, and regular check-ups with an eye care professional. By incorporating the discussed vitamins and nutrients into our diets — be it food or supplements — eye health ceases to take a backseat and instead becomes a resilient feature on the windshield of our lives.


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