Can plants have a beneficial effect on eyesight?


We use plant-based products for culinary, cosmetic, and health purposes. Scientists and doctors often talk about how properly selected plants can help us in ailments from the digestive, nervous and cardiovascular systems. As it turns out, the ingredients contained in plants can also have a beneficial effect on eyesight.


Plants are a source of many compounds that can positively affect eyesight, prevent and support the treatment of eye diseases. There are, among others, a source of lutein, which is also one of the main ingredients of dietary supplements that improve eyesight. Green leafy vegetables are the primary source of lutein, but other plants will also help you if you wish to take care of your eyes. Among those that have a beneficial effect on the organ of vision, there are, for example, Japanese ginkgo, horse chestnut fruit, marigold flower, or blueberry.

Medicinal properties

Below, there is a list of selected plant-derived compounds that may have a beneficial effect on our eyesight.

  • Beta-carotene
    Beta-carotene, or provitamin A, has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the eye’s retina’s photoreceptors. The receptors are responsible for vision both during the day and after dark. Therefore, its deficiency increases the risk of developing the so-called “Night blindness” manifested by difficulty seeing in the dark. What’s more, getting enough beta-carotene in your diet can lower the risk of developing macular degeneration. Spinach, chicory, lettuce, kale, broccoli, and carrots are the best source of beta-carotene.
  • Vitamin C
    Vitamin C has a beneficial effect on the blood supply to the eyeball and tears fluid production. It also lowers the risk of developing cataracts – one of the most common eye diseases affecting the elderly. The sources of vitamin C are citrus fruit, currants, rosehips, sea buckthorn, parsley, spinach, pepper, and kohlrabi.
  • Zinc
    Zinc, like vitamin C, is classified as a strong antioxidant, which protects the eye against the harmful effects of oxidative stress. Besides, it is involved in rhodopsin production – an organic chemical compound, a photosensitive dye found in the organ of vision. The sources of zinc are, among others, legume seeds, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Apart from Zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium also have a beneficial effect on our eyesight.
  • Lutein
    Lutein, like beta-carotene, belongs to the group of carotenoids. Simply put, it is a yellow pigment found in plants. This compound protects our eyes against the harmful effects of UV radiation. It also reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration, which mainly affects people around 50. Lutein can be found in plants such as spinach, kale, pumpkin, and tomatoes.
  • Zeaxanthin
    Zeaxanthin, like lutein and beta-carotene, also belongs to carotenoids. It is one of the two carotenoids in the eye’s retina, specifically in the so-called dimple – the macula’s central point, the sharpest vision zone. Products containing large amounts of zeaxanthin protect us against macular degeneration. Good sources of this compound are, among other, spinach, lettuce, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and lettuce.

Culinary properties

Vegetables like spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli have a beneficial effect on our eyesight. Unfortunately, many people refuse to eat these veggies. We would like to show you that, if prepared properly, even Brussels sprouts can be delicious. Let’s take a look at what culinary properties these veggies have.

  • Spinach and kale are vegetables that may be mistakenly associated with an unappetizing “green paste” on a plate. Meanwhile, spinach and kale can be a base for a delicious pesto (e.g., with almond flakes, sunflower seeds) or a green smoothie (e.g., with a banana).
  • Brussels sprouts – can be served in a delicious way that will convince even the most prominent opponents of this healthy vegetable. We can prepare Brussels sprouts with e.g., apples and thyme, in a mustard sauce with potatoes or serve it as an ingredient in a baked vegetable salad.
  • Broccoli – can be, for example, an ingredient in a salad with egg, poultry, or salmon. You can also make homemade pesto with broccoli and serve it with your favorite pasta.


Plants rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, and minerals have a very beneficial effect on eyesight and can protect us against eye diseases. These compounds can be found in many plants that we use in our kitchen every day. Even if we do not like vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, or kale, it is worth looking for original ideas for their preparation. The elderly, who are at risk of eye diseases, should pay special attention to products rich in carotenoids, vitamins, or minerals. However, this does not mean that younger people should forget about them! Plants rich in the ingredients mentioned above are an important element of treatment and the prevention of eye diseases.

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