As we grow older, we may notice that our eyes are not what they used to be. The reasoning behind this is that as our age increases, age-related eye diseases, like macular degeneration and cataracts, become more common. Eye diseases like these can cause vision impairment or blindness in older adults. However, certain age-related eye problems can be delayed, or even prevented, by adults improving their diet, nutrition, and other lifestyle habits.
A Diet For Healthy Eyes
When most people hear the word ‘diet’, they almost always make a connection with weight loss. However, diets are a very important part of the daily lifestyle choices you make, and the foods and dietary supplements you consume affect your overall health, but they can also improve your eyes, reducing the risk of experiencing different eye-related diseases.
If you’ve ever dieted to become healthier, you know that there is food both good and bad for you the same goes for your eyes. Having a diet high in sugar and saturated fat, one of the most common causes of permanent disability in the United States, may increase your risk of eye disease. On the other hand, numerous studies have been conducted to discover that certain antioxidants and nutrients can be beneficial to your eyes, potentially reducing the risk for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and even blindness. Eating plenty of greens and fruits is a good way to help boost your eye health. In fact, nutrition experts recommend consuming at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily. It has been shown that people who include fruits, vegetables, and other items rich in vitamins, lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and proteins in their diet are less likely to have issues with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many eye conditions, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Choosing foods that are high in antioxidants is a great way to protect your eyes. Antioxidants are nutrients that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are associated with aging. Eating foods high in antioxidants keep free radicals neutralized in addition to protecting the cells that were damaged by them.
Certain carotenoids can also be beneficial to your eyes. Carotenoids can be acquired by eating certain plant foods, especially bright and colorful fruit and vegetables, like peas, carrots, corn, and more. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only two carotenoids that can be found in the retina and lens of the human eye, which is why they are labeled as a food that may help improve eye health. Both of these plant pigments have been shown to shield the retina from oxidative changes that are caused by ultraviolet light. Research has shown that people who consume heavy amounts of these two carotenoids tend to experience fewer age-related eye issues.
Diet Tips For Eye Health
For a better chance of healthier vision, there are many lifestyle changes you can make that will protect your eyes. Not smoking, avoiding exposure to ultraviolet rays, and getting an annual eye exam are efficient ways to make sure your eyes are healthy. In addition, changing your diet can be beneficial. Take a long at these diet tips below:
- Eat good sources of protein. Protein is great for eye health, however, it is important to make sure you are choosing to consume the right kind. Lean meats, nuts, and fish are all great sources of quality protein. Most seafood and meats are great sources of zinc, too. Additionally, eggs serve as an excellent source of protein, as the yolk is rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and contains healthy fat. Consuming too many red meats and dairy products may increase your chance of eye diseases, like macular degeneration.
- Choose healthy fats. Consuming foods, like fish, flaxseed and canola oil, can be great for eye health. Foods that are high in omega-3, especially fish, can help fight dry eyes and can even help prevent cataracts. Adding fish and other seafood to your weekly meal plans, cooking with canola oil, and taking flaxseed oil can end up being beneficial for your eye health.
- Stay away from salt. The formation of cataracts can be a potential risk of consuming too much sodium. Salt can end up drying your eyes out, making them more irritable. For safety measures, it’s good to keep track of sodium intake. Choosing fresh and frozen foods is a good habit to practice.
- Drink plenty of fluids. As we all know, drinking plenty of water is healthy for our bodies. But what most people don’t know is that consuming water, healthy beverages, like fruit and vegetable juices, and herbal teas, and low-fat milk can complete a healthy diet and can eliminate irritation caused by dry eyes.
- Eat whole grains. Instead of eating foods that contain high amounts of refined white flour and sugars, like cereal and bread, use whole grain instead. Choosing 100 percent whole grain cereals and bread that are high in fiber, can help slow down the digestion of the starches and sugars we consume. Whole grains also contain vitamin E, niacin, and zinc, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Eye Health Supplements
Changing lifestyle habits and eating healthier foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can end up being beneficial to your vision and eye health. However, you may be able to increase your chances of preventing age-related eye diseases by taking supplements and other medical foods.
As mentioned previously, ingredients, like lutein and zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins E and C, can help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration. All of these ingredients can be found in our medical food, Lumega-Z.
Lumega-Z is an approved ocular health medical food that can help replenish and restore the Macular Protective Pigment in our eyes. In addition to addressing the issue of insufficient nutrients for eye health, Lumega-Z’s natural roots can help restore eye protection. This premium vision supplement can also be beneficial for other types of eye issues, like glaucoma and cataract formation. To learn more about this ocular health medical food, contact our team of healthcare professionals today!