Foods That Will Help Macular Degeneration

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

Cranberry

Blackberry

Prune

Raspberry

Strawberry

Red Delicious Apple, Granny Smith Apple, Gala Apple

Raisins

Oranges

Peaches

Red Grapes

Kiwi Fruit

Plums

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:

Brussel Sprouts

Alphalfa Sprouts

Spinach

Broccoli Florets

Beets

Green beans

Yellow corn

Carrots

Winter squash

Zucchini and different kinds of squash.

Red Bell Peppers

Artichoke Hearts

Russett Potato

Kale

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.

Antioxidant Beans

Small Red beans

Red Kidney Bean

Pinto Bean

Black Beans

Antioxidant Nuts

Pecans

Walnuts

Almonds 

Eggs

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

Dark Chocolate

Cocoa Powder

 

Tea Antioxidants

Green Tea

Black Tea

White Tea

 

Antioxidant Spices

Cloves ground

Cinnamon

Oregano

 

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

flaxseed, walnuts,

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.

 

Probiotics

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.