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What are good foods for vision health?

What's best for vision health (prevention of glaucoma, macular degeneration, macular puckering , retinal problems, floaters, light sensitivity)?

1 Answer
3 years ago

Dietitian's Answer

Studies have shown that people with a diet rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc had a 35 percent reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who ate an average diet. Great sources of Vitamin C are guava, bell pepper, grapefruit, strawberries and pineapple. Foods high in vitamin E are almonds, almond butter, sunflower seeds, spinach, flaxseed oil, mango. Best foods for beta-carotene are sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash, turnip greens and pumpkin. Zinc is found in higher concentrations in the retina and including foods like pumpkin seeds, starchy beans (pinto, navy, black) lima beans, cashews and pecans.

Additionally lutein and zeaxanthin are important antioxidants for eye health and are found in dark leafy greens, squash, green peas, asparagus and green bell peppers. Play with these ingredients until you find the best tasting Blast for YOU.

Although limited scientific data exists on food-related therapy for glaucoma, a few things that may help include:
- Foods high in Beta-carotene, which are highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow), fat-soluble compounds naturally present in many fruits, grains, oils, and vegetables (green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, apricots, and green peppers).
- Bilberry or bilberry extract
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) has been used in several clinical studies for the treatment of glaucoma. Ginkgo seems to improve retinal blood flow in the eye, decreasing damage to the retina.
- B vitamins (thiamine and riboflavin) have been associated with reduced risk of cataract (sunflower seeds, beans, lentils, oats, spinach, asparagus, almonds)
- Omega 3 fatty acids have been effective in decreasing intraocular pressure (IOP) in some glaucoma patients. (hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and cold water fatty fish like wild salmon)

Overall: Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables helps to ensure that enough vitamins and minerals are consumed for use by the body and eyes. Drinking fluids in small amounts over the course of a day can help individuals with increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Drinking a quart or more of any liquid within a short time may increase eye pressure. Limiting caffeine to low or moderate levels may be helpful.

Be sure to discuss these w/ your Dr. to ensure there are no nutrient or food/drug interactions with any medications you may be taking.

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