Most people are not aware that macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease and that it is the leading cause of blindness for those aged 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than 10 million Americans. The treatments may prevent severe vision loss or can slow the progression of the disease considerably.
Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, (the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain.) The retina's central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
As people age, their chances for developing eye diseases increase dramatically. Unfortunately, the specific factors that cause macular degeneration are not known. Research into this disease is limited because of insufficient funding.
A diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper can decrease the risk of vision loss in patients with intermediate to advanced dry age-related macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is caused by many different factors such as family genetics, lifestyle, nutrition and our environment.
1. Eat an Anti-inflammatory Diet
2. Eat a Diet Rich in Anti-Oxidants
Antioxidants work by binding with the free radicals and are thus able to reduce their destruction to cell walls and arteries. They are known for slowing down the aging process, building up our immune system and protecting us from degenerative diseases like macular degeneration.
Highest Antioxidant Fruits
Fruits high in antioxidants include:
Black Choke cherry, Sweet Cherry
Wild Blueberry, organic
Red Delicious Apple, Granny Smith Apple, Gala Apple
Plums are great for your eyes. People that eat 3 or more servings of fruit a day lower their chances of macular degeneration (ARM) by 36%
Vegetables High in Antioxidants
Vegetables high in antioxidants include:
Zucchini and different kinds of squash.
Red Bell Peppers
Egg yolk and Yellow corn have the highest quantity of lutein and orange peppers was the vegetable with the highest amount of zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are important in eye health.
Small Red beans
Red Kidney Bean
Eggs contain carotenoid lutein. A lutein rich diet reduces the risk of age related macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein is also found in leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Antioxidants in Chocolate
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are also very important
take 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 every day, eat fish, walnuts, and take supplements.
Some great examples of cold water fish are:
salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna
Great anti-inflammatory foods
Garlic and onions
extra virgin olive oil
ginger, rosemary, turmeric
tuna, salmon, cod, sardines
Coconut Oil Benefits
Coconut oil is a powerful antioxidant. For years we were told to stay away from this fat that turns white and hard in cooler temperatures. However, virgin coconut oil is one of the best oils to cook with at high temperatures because this oil does not oxidize (which means less free radicals to do their damage to our eyes).
Low Glycemic Carbs
Low glycemic carbs are an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Eat foods that are whole grain - like whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes are just a few.
Our health and immune system, begins in the gut. If your digestive system is not healthy, then it is difficult to absorb and utilize the nutrients that we are ingesting from our food or supplements. Probiotics actually play a very important role in curbing inflammation and improving our immune system.