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Vision and Nutrition
The link between vision and nutrition
Research has shown that nutrition can affect the development and
progression of several very serious eye diseases, which greatly affect your
vision. By eating the right foods, you may be able to substantially improve
your eye health.
What eye diseases are improved?
Proper nutrition has the potential to increase your eye health in a
variety of ways, some of which are surely yet to be discovered. Certain
nutrients have already been shown to prevent or slow the development and
progression of two common conditions:
- Cataracts, a widespread condition in which vision becomes blurred and impaired
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), one of the foremost causes of blindness in those over sixty
What nutrients can help?
Certain antioxidants have been shown to be helpful in preventing and
slowing the progression of cataracts. These include: vitamin C, vitamin E, and
the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
The antioxidants carotenoids can be helpful in slowing AMD. The carotenoids, in particular, lutein and zeaxanthin, can be helpful in slowing AMD. Though already
incurred damage by AMD cannot be reversed by these antioxidants, the disease
may be able to be prevented or its progression slowed. One study showed a
combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper to be
effective in slowing AMD.
What foods are these located in?
- Vitamin C can be found in the majority of fruits
and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, green
peppers and tomatoes.
- Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils such as
safflower and corn oils, almonds, pecans, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin are often present in the same
foods and are primarily found in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale,
collard greens, spinach, and turnip greens. Some other colorful vegetables and
fruits like broccoli, orange peppers, corn, peas, persimmons, and tangerines
contain smaller concentrations.
- If you cannot get the required amount you need
from fruits and vegetables, you may want to consider asking your healthcare
provider about a nutritional supplement.