Robious Corridor

Robious Corridor

NUTRITION TIP OF THE WEEK: macular degeneration

acac Midlothian

macular degenerationA healthy diet can have a positive impact on reducing vision loss, especially cataracts and macular degeneration.

With over 13 million Americans suffering from macular degeneration and about 50% of Americans over 80 with cataracts, we should do all we can to slow the progression and reduce the risks of these ailments.

Although the aging process, smoking, and exposure to UV radiation are all causes of cataracts, there are some nutrients to focus on as well. The antioxidants vitamin C and E have been found to be beneficial when consumed in fresh fruits and vegetables, but some studies have shown mixed results when taken in supplement form. Vitamin C food sources are citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, kiwi, tomatoes, summer squash, and white potatoes with the skin. Excellent vitamin E food sources are sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter, wheat germ, avocado, red peppers, asparagus, collard greens, and olive oil.

Lutein has also been shown to have promising results in reducing free-radical damage to the eye. It may also help strengthen eye tissue, reduce macular degeneration and cataract risk, reduce eye fatigue and sensitivity to glare, and boost brain function and memory. A recommended dosage is 6-30 mg per day, but absorption rates may vary in individuals. Some of the best food sources are cooked kale, turnip greens, spinach, egg yolk,broccoli, and raw lettuce.

Two B vitamins, riboflavin and niacin, may also help with eye health. A general multi-vitamin with 100% of RDA is sufficient. Foods rich in zinc are also beneficial for the retina and enzymes needed for healthy eyes. Good food sources are oysters, crab, lean beef and pork, yogurt, seeds, nuts, and beans.

DHA Omega-3 fatty acids also help protect the eyes from damage by free-radicals and sunlight. Eating 2-3 servings of fish each week as well as walnuts, fortified eggs and chia seeds are good ways to boost out intake.

Regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, protecting your eyes from the sun with sunglasses, and seeing an optometrist every two years after the age of 60 are important tools to protect our eyes and reduce the symptoms of eye disease.

 

Written by Donna Wheeler, acac nutritionist

acac Midlothian has provided Robious Corridor Magazine and Robious Corridor Online with valuable health, nutrition, and fitness information for years.  In fact, since our first issue.  We welcome their guidance and recognize them as a Keystone Corporate Partner!

 

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