Antioxidants are nutrients that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals—molecules associated with aging. Too many free radicals can cause eye disease, including advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Antioxidants keep the creation of free radicals under control and help protect and repair cells damaged by them. The National Eye Institute recommends a diet high in antioxidants, plus vitamin and mineral supplements, for all people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).1
You should always consult your doctor before adding any vitamin or mineral supplements to your diet.
Sources of Antioxidants
Common antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, selenium and zinc. They are generally found in foods with strong colors, particularly orange, yellow, red and dark green fruits and vegetables:
Vitamin C: oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, berries, mangoes, kale, Brussels sprouts, peppers, sweet potatoes and tomatoes
Vitamin E: broccoli, pumpkin, spinach, carrots, turnip greens, papaya and sunflower seeds
Vitamin A: carrots, cantaloupe, corn, nectarines, peaches, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and watermelon
Selenium: Brazil nuts, whole grains, tuna, beef and dark meat turkey
Zinc: oysters, nuts, seafood, red meat, beans and dairy
Other foods high in antioxidants include prunes, plums, apples, berries, eggplant, onions and alfalfa sprouts.