Nurtition for Good Eyesight

Ones eyesight declines with age, but it is possible to reduce your risk of common eye diseases such as: glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration with the right diet.

Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service funded laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research, found that foods high in vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega 3 fatty acids, plus a diet low on the glycemic index had a very positive effect on maintaining healthy vision.

The study analised the dietary intake, plus other data, from over 4,000 men and women aged between 55 and 80 who had taken part in a long term Age –Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).

So what foods should you be consuming?  The highest sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are leafy green vegetables – not over cooked.  Carotenoids are also fat-soluble therefore require the presence of fat for proper absorption.  Add some olive oil to your lightly steamed greens.  Egg yolks are also an excellent source of lutein.

Vitamin C sources include most fruits and vegetables, especially berries, oranges, mangos, broccoli and potatoes.

Zinc is found in high doses in shellfish especially oysters.  Other food sources include brewers yeast, wheat germ, bran, pine nuts, pecan nuts, cashews, liver, Parmesan cheese, fish and eggs.

Vitamin E food sources include wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, avocadoes, sardines and tomato puree.

Omega-3 sources include salmon, flaxseeds (ground), almonds, cod liver oil.  Buy flax seeds whole and then grind them in small batches using a coffee grinder.  Store in the fridge.  The flax meal goes rancid quickly.

Glycemic index is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels.  Therefore you want to consume more foods that are considered low on the glycemic index.

If you have a family history of eye disease then making sure you eat a healthy dose of all these nutrients on a daily basis will go a long way to maintaining healthy eyes.

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