A balanced diet is critical for overall health, but did you know that there are certain nutrients that can help strengthen your sight and optical health? The likelihood of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts can be limited by strategically incorporating certain foods into your meals. Sound simple enough? Keep reading!
You can be proactive about your eye’s health. There is evidence showing that risk of cataracts and macular degeneration (damage to the retina) can be reduced with an increase in consumption of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. According to some studies, the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may slow the progression of early onset AMD. It is also possible that eating increased amounts of vitamins C and E may reduce the risk of cataracts or AMD, though take note that this assertion has been debated by experts and researchers.
It is important to discuss any intent to dramatically increase consumption of vitamins and minerals with your general practitioner. These trained medical professionals can direct you to vitamins that may help, as well as look out for potential side-effects. For example, there is an increased risk of heart failure in at-risk persons aggressively upping their consumption of Vitamin E. Your doctors will be able to recommend particular doses to you to make sure that you stay fit and healthy.
Fortunately, consuming additional nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin does not have to be inconvenient or bothersome…in fact, it can be quite tasty! Many delicious foods contain these nutrients and increasing the amount of those foods you eat can help you be proactive in preserving your eyesight. Consider adding the following foods to your diet:
• Leafy greens. Kale, collard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, turnip greens, peas, broccoli, green beans, etc.
• Citrus fruits and juices such as oranges, grapefruits, mandarins and more.
• Vegetables high in Vitamin C like Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, leafy greens, and carrots.
• Red meat, liver, shellfish, milk, beans. These foods contain high amounts of zinc, a helpful aid to the body when it comes to night vision.
• Eggs and other non-meat proteins like nuts and sunflower seeds.
• Fish. Fatty acids like Omega-3 are very good for overall health and can help improve retina function and vision development. If you do not like seafood options like salmon and tuna, you can take supplements can help as well.
• Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene—a nutrient that seriously strengthens night vision.
Consuming a balanced diet with some of these foods included in that diet can help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. The key word here is balanced…it is important not to consume one of these foods in excess—you may miss the benefits of other foods and depending on your personal situation; eating too much of one nutrient may have unexpected consequences. Be sure to discuss any dietary change with your doctor.
For additional insights into maintaining clear and healthy vision, visit the eye health section of our blog today!