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How Does Nutrition Affect Eye Health?

Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is essential for your overall health. Like the rest of the body, the eyes also benefit from what you eat. Research shows that a poor diet can increase your risk for some health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Such diseases can affect your eyes and lead to vision loss if untreated.


Your diet can manage age-related conditions, such as dry age-related macular degeneration.


What is a Well-Balanced Diet?


A well-balanced diet entails foods that can provide the body with the right proportion of all it needs for proper functioning. It includes fluid, vitamins, food energy, adequate fiber, macronutrients, and micronutrients. It means eating a wide variety of the right proportions of food and drink to maintain your general health.


Vitamins and Nutrients that can Benefit Your Eye Health


These vitamins and nutrients can benefit your eye health:


  • Vitamin E - Protects the eyes from unstable molecules or harmful radicals that can destroy healthy tissue

  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin - Lower the risk for chronic eye conditions, such as cataracts

  • Zinc - Transports vitamin A to the retina from the liver. It helps protect the eyes by aiding in the production of melanin

  • Essential fatty acids - Fats such as omega-3 fatty acids help with vision development. They maintain proper retina and eye functioning

  • Ascorbic acid or vitamin C - Lowers the risk of developing cataracts. It also slows vision loss and age-related macular degeneration


The Best Foods for Your Vision and Eye Health


The best vision and eye health foods offer you vitamins and nutrients best for your eye health. They include:


  • Beef - A high source of zinc

  • Fish - Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna, herring, trout, and mackerel have ample DHA and EDA

  • Leafy Greens - They provide vitamin C together with lutein and zeaxanthin

  • Broccoli - A great source of vitamin C with lutein and zeaxanthin

  • Legumes and nuts - Omega-3 fatty acids come from nuts such as Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, and lentils

  • Citrus fruits - Grapefruit, lemons, and oranges are sources of vitamin C

  • Eggs - Contain protein, vitamin E, lutein, and omega-3s to support your vision and eye health


Diets That Increase Risk for Vision Problems


Eating highly processed foods that do not have nutritional value can affect your eye health. Such diets do not have adequate nutrients to support your vision and eye health. A processed high-fat diet can increase your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration.


Talk to Your Eye Doctor at Marshall EyeCare

Talking to your optometrist before you make any changes to your diet can help. You can improve your eyesight and consider adjusting your food by talking to your eye doctor first. Your doctor can help you narrow down exactly what you need based on your eye condition which can help you create a diet suitable for eye health to prevent diseases like age-related macular degeneration.

At Marshall EyeCare, we’re proud to offer Macula Monday events on a quarterly basis in which we teach participants how to make locally-sourced, eye-healthy food. Our event is free and open to the first 40 people who make a reservation! During this event, participants will also learn more about macular degeneration, as well as leave with an AdaptDx Rapid Test which can be used to detect the progression of AMD.


For more about nutrition and eye health or our Macula Monday event, contact Marshall EyeCare at our office in Aberdeen, New Jersey. Call (732) 837-0988 to book an appointment today.

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