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Healthy Food For Your Eyes

The same healthy diet that’s good for your heart and arteries
can help preserve your eyes and vision.That’s not surprising.
“Vision depends on tiny capillaries that supply the retina and
other parts of the eye with nutrients and oxygen,” says Monique
Roy, MD, a professor at the New Jersey Medical School’s
Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science. “Keeping those
arteries healthy is essential.”

As part of an overall healthy diet, several key nutrients
appear to be particularly important to preserving sight as we
get older.

C, E, and Zinc:-

A decade ago, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study reported that
people given vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene, and zinc in
supplements were less likely to develop advanced age-related
macular degeneration, or AMD. The combination was most
effective at slowing the progression from intermediate to
advanced AMD, which is one of the leading causes of age-related
blindness. Because of those findings, many people diagnosed
with early signs of AMD today are routinely prescribed a pill
that combines these nutrients.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin:-

Two other nutrients – lutein and zeaxanthin – are also linked
to lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. A 2008
Tufts University study of 1,802 women 50 to 79 years old found
that those who consumed the most lutein and zeaxanthin in their
diets were 23% less likely to develop cataracts than those who
consumed the least. Rich sources of these two compounds include
kale, spinach, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and
Brussels sprouts.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid:-

The newest nutrient linked to better vision with age is omega-3
fatty acid, which is found predominantly in fish oil. In a
study of 2,520 people, researchers at Johns Hopkins University
reported in 2010 that people who consumed fish high in omega-3s
fatty acids often were significantly less likely to have
advanced age-related macular degeneration. Omega-3s may also
protect against cataracts, according to 2010 findings by
researchers at the Clinical University of Navarra in Spain.

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Researchers don’t understand exactly why omega-3s may protect
against eye diseases. One guess is that these healthy oils may
reduce inflammation and thereby protect against cell damage.

Pills vs. Food:-

Although antioxidant supplements are routinely prescribed to
people with early signs of macular degeneration, there’s little
agreement on whether supplements will help otherwise healthy
people preserve their vision. “Most of the evidence to date is
very mixed,” Allen Taylor, a leading researcher at the
Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the Jean Mayer
USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts
University, tells WebMD. In one recent study, for example, a
multivitamin seemed to protect against some forms of cataracts
but actually raise the risk of other forms.

“By far the best way to protect your vision from age-related
diseases is by eating a healthy diet,” says Kathleen Zelman,
RD, director of nutrition for WebMD.

Recent findings help make the case for healthy food choices. A
2010 study by French scientists, for instance, found eating
more vegetables – including cabbage, broccoli, pepper, corn, or
spinach – improved the condition of the retina in people with
age-related macular degeneration.

Researchers don’t understand exactly why omega-3s may protect
against eye diseases. with age is omega-3 fatty acid, which
is found predominantly in fish oil. Food For Eyes Two other
nutrients ” lutein and zeaxanthin ” are also linked to lower
risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

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