There are a variety of eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration that researchers claim can be deterred or slowed by consuming specific vitamins and minerals. To be clear, vitamins and nutrients are not a cure for such conditions, but they can be beneficial to lessening symptoms or preventing them in the first place.
The following vitamins and nutrients have been shown to be essential in our diets to continue to enjoy healthy vision and prevent ocular disease. Of course, there is such a thing as “too much” for many different kinds of healthy foods and nutrients so, if you plan on consuming large quantities for the sake of your eyes, please consult with your doctor in order to create a defined plan of action.
Beta-carotene, rich in vitamin A, is a key antioxidant that can diminish the likelihood of developing macular degeneration. It also can benefit the patient who suffers from night-blindness and dry eye. So eat your carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach. Beta-carotene is our friend!
Bioflavonoids can take on many forms, all which are beneficial for the body. This component of many bright-colored foods is believed to reduce inflammation, encourage healthy blood flow and lessen the likelihood of developing certain kinds of cancers. Studies suggest that the bioflavonoids found in red wine and tea can protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Summer berries and cherries and citrus fruits also contain the good kinds of bioflavonoids. For those of you that prefer vegetables, indulge in sweet peppers, broccoli and, as stated above, spinach.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin is used by plants to shield their exterior from the sun’s harsh bright rays, and it can provide the same protection to your retinas (click here to learn more about the dangers of UV rays). Subsequently, it can also play a role in thwarting cataracts and macular degeneration. So how do you incorporate this essential nutrient into your daily diet? Load up on broccoli, romaine lettuce and kale.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish contains Omega-3 fats, which are needed to develop the brain, eyes and nerves, especially in children. Serving up fish from a cold- water source such as herring, salmon, or mackerel provides even higher levels of the hard-to-find Omega-3 fats that are missing from many of our diets. On top of this, the less-celebrated Omega 5 fatty acids can be combined with vitamins C and E to potentially reduce risk of advanced macular degeneration.
At Thanksgiving do you prefer the light or dark meat of the turkey? Well, if you prefer bird’s leg or thigh or, rejoice in knowing that the darker parts are rich in Zinc. Zinc combined with foods rich in vitamin A work together to prevent night blindness and may also play a part in staving off macular degeneration and shielding you from the sun’s damaging effects on your eye’s health. Also consider dishes like quinoa, beans, oysters, mushrooms and many meats like beef and lamb.
Often associated with tomatoes, lycopene is what gives this vine-fruit its naturally vibrant coloring. Alternatively, you can find it in other fruits like apricots and grapefruit. So what does it mean for you? Regular consumption may help to lessen the probability of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Eating a healthy diet can be the most delicious way to help your eyesight health. Bon appétit!