The first step to prevention of eye disease and vision loss is awareness. Recent research is beginning to show that there is a link between diet, lifestyle and prevention of eye diseases. Maintaining overall health is key to maintaining good eye health which includes a healthy lifestyle, exercise and a healthy diet. Not smoking and controlling any systemic disease such diabetes and hypertension are also important in preventing vision loss. Key health aspects to pay attention to in preventing vision loss include: body mass index, waist circumference, smoking, as well as UV light and blue light exposure.
Eye nutrients are those nutrients that are most important in prevention of eye diseases. Foods that contain the most eye nutrients are considered eye foods. Examples of eye foods include dark, green leafy vegetables and dark red and blue berries. These foods are high in lutein and zeaxanthin as well as other nutrients. The most popular eye food is an orange pepper. It contains lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C & E and beta-carotene. In fact, it has more vitamin C than citrus fruit. So what foods are good for the eyes? Consider these four tips:
4 Quick Eye Food Tips
1. Leafy greens – a handful a day keeps AMD away
2. Orange Peppers – 2 peppers per week – two ways prepared… raw and cooked
3. Cold Water fish – 4 fish per week – small is safe
4. Eggs – 4 eggs per week – the yolk is good
Although eating healthy is a good first step, not everybody eats healthy and eye supplements may also be needed to aid eye health. I like to keep it simple. A supplement that contains lutein and zeaxanthin is a must. I recommend MacuHealth because it not only contains lutein and zeaxanthin, but it also contains mesozeaxanthin. All three of these nutrients are found in the macula and taking a supplement that contains all three will build these nutrients in the eye more quickly than taking only one or two. MacuHealth can be purchased online or in our office.
In addition, if you do not eat four servings of fish per week, then you should be taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements that are in the natural triglyceride form and not the ethyl-ester form which is sold in retail stores. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial beyond just the eyes. It’s good for the heart as well as any mucous membrane of the body (which is why it is beneficial for dry eye patients). Recent research has also shown that it may have benefits for Alzheimer’s patients and those at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. I can give you recommendations on where to find quality omega-3 fatty acids when you come in for your eye exam.