A healthy diet is the key to a healthy life. What we eat has a direct impact on our body. In order to stay fit we must follow a balanced diet. A nutritious diet leads to a healthy life free from disease. Where diet is the key factor responsible for your health, there are certain problems that are more age related. As you grow old, you become more prone to certain health related problems. One major problem faced by a large number of people who are getting older is that related to eyesight. Although these symptoms are seen in the later part of life the damage occurs years before. Here are some great strategies you can follow to protect your eyes.
1. Increase your antioxidant intake
It has been observed that low level of antioxidants is a major reason behind the development of Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Major intake should include vitamin C provided in citrus fruits, broccoli and kiwi, vitamin E present in avocados, nuts and vegetable oils and nutrients like zeaxanthin and lutein found in green leafy vegetables such as collards spinach and kale. These antioxidants are believed to accumulate in the retina and protect your eyes. Zeaxanthin and lutein are also believed to act like natural sunglasses which help in the formation of macular pigment which filters out the sun’s damaging rays.
2. Keep your weight and blood pressure in check
You must keep your blood pressure in control and get it checked regularly. People suffering from high blood pressure are seen to be more prone to develop AMD. When blood pressure increases it damages blood vessels which further cause hindrance to the blood flowing to the eyes. This makes it difficult for the protective nutrients to reach the retina. Excess weight is also a threat and one must take into account and make sure he is not overweight. Eye protective nutrients become less available to the macula as the excess fat tissues act as a sink for them.
3. Eat eggs
Eggs are generally kept quite low on the list as most of us think that it will increase the cholesterol level in our body. Egg yolks are highly rich in zeaxanthin and lutein which as mentioned are antioxidants which protect us from AMD. As far as the cholesterol level is concerned, consuming about two eggs in a day does not increase the cholesterol level and acts as a positive source in increasing the level of zeaxanthin and lutein in our body. So, unless the doctor has suggested don’t chuck out eggs from your daily diet. Combining it with some spinach or some other nutrient rich vegetable can bring out a greater nutrient boost.
4. Consider supplements
We all know that nutrients from food are always the best source but while dealing with problems like AMD, supplements have proven to be of great help. While maintaining a proper diet, taking a high dose supplement can help in reducing the risk of AMD. you can consult your eye care professional before you start taking these supplements. These supplements have appropriate amount of zeaxanthin, lutein, DHA and EPA exceeding which is of no benefit. Although these supplements are easily available in stores it is strongly recommended that you consume them under strict medical supervision.
5. Consume more sea food
Consumption of sea food especially fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout or herring can prove to be of great help in reducing the risk of AMD. Omega 3 acids especially DHA which are present in fish are the key components in the nerve cells of the retina. Since DHA is found in abundance in the retina, there is a high possibility that its deficiency may trigger AMD. It is highly suggested that you include fatty fishes in your daily consumption. Apart from these fatty fishes, shell fishes such as crab and oyster should also be included in your diet as it provides appropriate amount of zinc which is another nutrient that protects against AMD and is found in the retina.