02 Mar Improve Your Diet = Improve Your Vision
I used to think that weakening vision was a normal part of the aging process, after all many of these conditions have names like, Age-related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) and Age-related Cataracts, but after doing a lot of research in this area I now know this simply isn’t the truth. In fact, research shows that eating an antioxidant-rich diet can not only prevent eye problems down the road, but it can also help the body to reverse these conditions if you’ve already been diagnosed.
Symptoms of ARMD and Cataracts
ARMD is one of the most common causes of blindness in seniors. It begins with a painless and gradual deterioration of the macula, which is the tissue in the central portion of the retina. The first symptom is typically blurring central vision that eventually spreads to the peripheral vision.
Cataracts on the other hand develops when the lens, or the transparent membrane that allows light to enter the eye, yellows. This limits the passage of light rays, which in turn makes your vision cloudy, blurry, or hazy. Some people say it’s like looking through a foggy window. Cataracts can begin to develop in people of all ages, but are often so small they don’t impair vision and therefore are unnoticed. As we age, if untreated, cataracts can grow and even cause blindness.
Foods that HEAL
Feast on fish – A study out of Australia, involving more than 3,500 adults, found that eating fish just one to three times a month appeared to prevent ARMD.
Watch your weight and stay hydrated – The medical community has told us for years that individuals who are at a higher weight are also at a higher risk for developing cataracts. While water helps to flush the body of toxins, it is also the number one dietary tool recommended to people who are looking to lose a few extra pounds. As a rule of thumb, make sure you drink 1L of water for every 50lbs of body weight.
Load up on zinc – A study done by the National Eye Institute found that individuals who took high levels of zinc were significantly able to reduce their risk of developing ARMD and vision loss. Foods high in zinc are (but not limited to); spinach, pumpkin seeds, raw cacao and cashews.
Eat a diet rich in antioxidants – Leafy greens, dark berries (like blueberries and blackberries), artichokes, prunes and oregano have all been shown to significantly help ward off eye problems as we age. What’s even more significant is they have also been shown to help many people to reverse these conditions after being diagnosed.
Foods that HARM
Limit your saturated fat – Research tells us that a diet high in saturated fats increases our risk of developing eye problems, especially as we get older. Scientists and doctors alike believe that saturated fats may clog the arteries in the retina. If you believe you could be at risk of developing eye problems, limit your intake of red meat, cheese and butter and always consult your doctor for medical advice.