At any time in our lives, but especially when we are getting older, our eye health is of paramount importance.
Age related macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in older people, seconded only by cataracts. Both of these are caused by free radicals or toxins in the body which have a degenerative effect, but can be prevented by eating a diet rich in anti-oxidants.
The foods which are the most beneficial to our eye health are Blackcurrants, Bilberries and leafy green vegetables such as Kale and Spinach. These are full of anti-oxidant nutrients.
Omega 3 fatty acids and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are concentrated in the eye retinas so eating foods which are rich in Omega 3 and DHA, like oily fish, can go a long way to help prevent macular degeneration.
One of the other nutrients which is very important in the prevention of blindness is Astaxanthin. This can be found in abundance in wild salmon.
Blackcurrants naturally contain some of the highest amounts of antioxidants like Anthocyanins. These are rich in Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) and anti inflammatory properties.
Blackcurrants contain a few more anthocyanins than Bilberries but Bilberries are still very nutritional powerhouses. Bilberries are a very close relative of the Blueberry but are regarded as much more difficult to grow than Blueberries.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are found in leafy green vegetables like Kale Spinach, Courgettes an Broccoli, and also in the orange and yellow vegetables like Carrots, Squash and Bell Peppers. Luteus means yellow, so as a guide, any yellow vegetable can be regarded as containing Lutein.
Things to avoid which can be harmful to eye health are artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame. Many diet products and ‘no added sugar’ products contain Aspartame, so it is always good to check food labels for it.
Trans fats, are manufactured mixtures of fats which when heated come together to produce a toxic mix in the body. These are generally found in margarines, convenience foods and fast foods. Again, it is always best to check food contents and labels before buying.
Too much sugar of course, can be detrimental to various functions of our bodies, but it is particularly important for the health of our eyes that sugar consumption be kept to a minimum.
Of course, being mindful about what we eat can go a long way to maintaining healthy eyes and sight in our older years and all of the above mentioned foods can play a part in that.
There are also many good supplements on the market which contain all of the above mentioned nutrients.
One of the best manufacturers of these supplements is VITABIOTICS who make a range called VISIONACE which includes three comprehensive supplements which are beneficial to eye health.
All three varieties of VISIONACE contain vitamin B2, Zinc, Bilberry Extract and Lutein Esters. VISIONACE PLUS and VISIONACE MAX both contain additional Omega 3 Fish Oil and VISIONACE MAX also contains Krill Oil and Zeaxanthin.
ZIPVIT are another company who can be highly recommended for good products and service. They also produce a range of eye health supplements such as Practitioners Lutein Plus which contains a combination of nutrients beneficial to eye health. Bilberry Extract 2000mg, Omega 3 Fish Oils, Beta Carotene and Zinc Gluconate.
Check out their website for more information about their products.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as a means of diagnosis, treatment or advice. It does not cover adverse effects or drug interaction with products which might cause adverse effects.
It is strongly advised that you seek advice from a healthcare professional or qualified homeopathic doctor if you have any questions or doubts before taking any alternative treatments or medicines.