V is for Vision Nutrition
Staying on the subject of vision health in dedication of National Eye Care Month, there is a truth in the fact that we are what we eat. Vitamins obtained from the food that we eat help us sustain different systems in our body. Vitamin A is important for our skin and hair. It helps maintain healthy gums bones and teeth, supports our immune system, and extremely important for the health of our eyes, especially night vision. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin found in carrots as well as in milk and dairy, cereals, some green, yellow veggies, deep yellow and orange fruits (sweet potatoes, and squash) as well as in organ meats like liver (yikes not my favorite!).
If there is Vitamin A deficiency a patient can have problems seeing at night, dry eyes, growth delay, very dry and rough skin, and a weak immune system susceptible to infection. However, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING CAN ALSO CREATE PROBLEMS. Never take overdose of any vitamin especially vitamin A. Children and adults can eat yellow vegetables everyday and this will not cause an overdose. This recommendation is for parents or adult administering high doses of a specific vitamin supplement bought from a store in a liquid or chewable vitamin form. This can be extremely harmful: high levels of vitamin A taken as a supplement can cause liver failure, hair loss, bone pain, headaches, fatigue, diarrhea, blurred vision and birth defects if taken in high doses during pregnancy.
Vitamin B2 also known as Riboflavin also helps to maintain vision health. It is found in organ meats (I still cannot eat liver!), dark meat from chicken or turkey, dairy, fortified cereals, grains and green leafy veggies like collard, spinach, kale.
If your toddler or child gives you a bit of difficulty eating the yellow vegetables remember to substitute with cantaloupes, oranges, grapefruits. Vitamin A and B2 are also found in yogurt and cheese as well as fortified cereals. So eat up to these great foods to maintain your vision health.