For the aging population, there is good news on the eye-health front. New research from the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that fewer people over the age of 40 are developing macular degeneration, a condition that causes vision loss in older adults. According to researchers, the decrease is being attributed to an increase in public awareness concerning health issues and better dietary choices.
Macular degeneration is not the only eye-related condition that is positively influenced by a good diet. Improvements in some other common vision disorders such as glaucoma and cataracts have been observed, as well. Glaucoma is characterized by excessive pressure caused by fluid that builds up around the eyeball. Over time, this pressure impairs the optic nerve, causing vision loss. The formation of cataracts, which commonly occurs as people age, causes focusing problems, blurred vision, and other problematic changes in vision. Through extensive research, scientists have linked the presence of some nutrients such as lutein, vitamins C and E, and omega-3 fatty acids, with a lower incidence of these and other eye conditions. By adopting a diet consisting of foods high in these nutrients, it’s very possible that you can prevent eye disease before it occurs, positively impact an existing condition, or, in some cases, even reverse certain conditions.
Dark Leafy Greens
Foods in this family include spinach, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard, and broccoli. These nutritious foods are high in lutein, a compound that protects cells in the eyes from normal wear and tear. Spinach, in particular, helps shield the center of the retina, called the macula, from damage that results in age-related macular degeneration.
We’ve all heard the experts recommend dietary changes that include an increased consumption of fish. This recommendation has proved to be very valuable where eye-health is concerned. Fish like mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna, and sardines, are the best fish to eat to build up reserves of omega-3 fatty acids, which concentrates and nourishes the retina of the eye.
Every manner of berry from blackberries to cherries to strawberries, and even grapes are amazing foods that help protect your eyes from damage. The way that berries work is mainly by decreasing inflammation and blood pressure, which tend to exacerbate eye conditions. In addition, eating berries regularly can improve blood flow and help prevent artery blockages which can deprive the eye region of much-needed oxygen necessary for optimum vision.
Today, scientists and researchers understand much more about the link between a healthy diet and good eyesight. Consuming foods that contain high levels of certain vital nutrients is the key to preventing or improving eye disease, as well as maintaining the condition of healthy eyes.