What You Eat Can Affect How Well You See
There’s more to eye nutrition than carrots—a lot more, according to research reported by the National Eye Institute. Findings indicate that high levels of antioxidants and zinc, in the form of a nutritional supplement tablet, can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
“These supplements are not a cure for AMD, but they do reduce the risk of progressing to the most serious form of the disease, which is the leading cause of blindness in older adults,” Cynthia Owsley, PhD, professor and vice chair for clinical research in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology, said.
UAB School of Optometry Professor Leo Semes, OD, serves on the Health and Nutrition Committee of the American Optometric Association.
Semes said. “It’s been shown that certain habits like eating a high-fat diet are associated with, but not causative, in AMD.”
The Health and Nutrition Committee developed a list of specific foods and nutrients that have been found to be beneficial to eye health.
To reduce the risk or to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, the Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables, fatty acids from tuna, salmon and lean meats, and the Vitamin E from vegetable oil - or supplements containing these nutrients - can have a protective effect.
Vitamin C is also recommended to minimize the risk of cataracts, along with zinc from whole grains and red meats.
Poor darkness adaptation, another condition associated with aging, seems to be related to a lack of Vitamin A, a close cousin to beta-carotene, which can be found in—yes—carrots.