bioflavonoids benefit your eyesVitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant that helps keep your eyes, as well as the rest of your body, healthy. Research suggests that vitamin C and bioflavonoids have a complementary effect, making them both more effective when taken together rather than separately.

As humans, we are unable to produce vitamin C in the body, so we need to ensure that we get our daily dose from what we eat. Here’s how vitamin C and bioflavonoids benefit your eyes.

Vitamin C and Your Eyes

Vitamin C helps your body to form and maintain connective tissue, including the collagen found in the cornea of your eyes. It also promotes healthy blood vessels, including the delicate capillaries in the retina.

Some studies suggest that the long-term consumption of vitamin C may also reduce the risk of vision loss due to macular degeneration and reduce the risk of forming cataracts.

Vitamin C is generally considered safe at high doses because it’s water-soluble. Excess vitamin C is expelled in urine. However, doses greater than 2,000 mg a day have been known to cause nausea and diarrhea. Too much vitamin C also increases the risk of kidney stones.

Bioflavonoids and Your Eyes

Bioflavonoids, also called flavonoids, are the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their colour and are found in most of the same foods that are good sources of vitamin C.

Anthocyanins are a type of bioflavonoid that may help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as helping to maintain the health of the cornea and blood vessels in different parts of the eye.

Bioflavonoids are also water-soluble and are nontoxic, even at high doses

Sources of Bioflavonoids and Vitamin C

Bioflavonoids and vitamin C appear to work together. Just about any food that contains vitamin C also contains bioflavonoids.

Bilberry, also known as huckleberry or whortleberry, is a plant related to the blueberry. It is often promoted as being good for your eyes, as it contains high amounts of anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. Researchers are investigating anthocyanins and other bioflavonoids as it is believed they are capable of reducing inflammatory eye disease and diabetic retinopathy.

Along with bilberries and blueberries, other good sources of anthocyanins include the following:

  • Acai fruit
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Eggplant
  • Red and purple grapes
  • Red wine

Foods that contain vitamin C include the following:

  • Peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries
  • Tropical fruits
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Green leafy vegetables

Foods containing the highest vitamin C content include:

  • Sweet red peppers
  • Sweet green peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Orange juice

Fresh and raw fruits and vegetables contain the most vitamin C. Cooked and canned foods may contain less. The effectiveness of vitamin C can be decreased by smoking, oral contraceptives, estrogen, the antibiotics tetracycline and barbiturates.