Proper nutrition is critical to good eye health.
- Eat Lots Vegetables and Fruits – Antioxidants protect against oxidation, which is a part of the process of macular degeneration (AMD). Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, mustard greens and collard greens contain high levels of lutein, a critical antioxidant. Antioxidants are also present in fruits and vegetables with bright color, including red grapes, peppers, corn, oranges, cantaloupe and mango. Look for fresh produce in a variety of colors to get a wide range of vitamins in your diet.
- Eat Fish – People who eat fish 2-3 times a week have a lower risk for AMD. Fish contain omega-3 which seems to be a critical nutrient for the heart and eyes. The best fish are either wild salmon or small fish like sardines. If you cannot tolerate fish or obtain it easily, an omega-3 supplement is another option.
- Limit Your Fat Intake – In reviewing studies on fat, researchers found that while the amount of fat consumed makes a difference, the real issue for AMD is the amount of saturated fats in the diet. The biggest source of saturated fat is animal products – beef, lamb, pork, lard, butter, cream, whole milk and high fat cheese. Plant oils also have saturated fat, including coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Read the labels on processed foods and baked goods, as they often have high amounts of saturated fats. Instead, consume healthy fats like olive oil or avocado.
- Don’t Smoke
- Exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control
- Wear sunglasses outdoors to block UV that may cause eye damage
- Have regular eye exams.