(Health Secrets) A study published in Opthamology found that proper diet, especially a low glycemic index diet, can help preserve sight and avoid macular degeneration, and other sight-robbing diseases. The nutrients that were found to be most protective in combination with a low-glycemic-index diet were vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and the omega 3 fatty acids known as DHA and EPA.
But the eye is a complex mechanism that requires many nutrients to function at its best thtough out the lifetime. All these nutrients are described below, and the list can seem quite daunting until you realize that these nutrients are easily found and consumed through the daily use of a good superfood powder such as Absolute Greens.
Food Recommendations for Good Eyesight and Eye Health:
* Cold water fish (salmon, sardines, cod, mackerel, tuna.) are excellent sources of DHA, a compound which provides structural support to cell membranes and is recommended for dry eyes. DHA is also used as a treatment for macular degeneration and for sight preservation.
*Spinach, kale and green leafy vegetables are rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein, a yellow pigment, protects the macula from sun damage and from blue light. Zeaxanthin is one of the two primary xanthophyll carotenoids contained within the retina of the eye.
* Eggs are rich in sulphur, cysteine, lecithin, amino acids and lutein. Sulphur-containing compounds protect the lens of the eye from cataract formation. Sulphur is also necessary for the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant for the lens of the eye and the whole body.
* Garlic, onions, shallots and capers are also rich in sulfur.
* Fruits and vegetables contain vitamin A, C, and E and beta-carotene.
* Dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and dark cherries are high in flavonoids and contain anthocyanins which improve night vision.
* Red wine has many important antioxidants and other nutrients which protect vision, heart and blood flow.
* Nuts and berries are nature’s most concentrated food sources. Grains, such as flaxseed, are high in beneficial omega 3 fats, which help normalize cholesterol and stabilize cell membranes.
Top Vitamins for Vision and Eye Health
* Vitamin A is considered by many to be the ultimate eye vitamin and is essential for the retina to function properly. It is also necessary for the production of rhodopsin, which is the visual pigment used in low light levels. Vitamin A-rich foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, spinach, and cantaloupe.
Vitamin A also helps eyes adjust to light changes, moisten the eyes (which can enhance visual acuity), prevent formation of cataracts and prevent blindness from macular degeneration.
* Vitamin C helps strengthen capillaries and builds collagen. It helps maintain the shape of the cornea, especially in cases of infection, and fights against free radicals. Vitamin C also helps prevent cataracts from developing due to UV radiation and oxidative stresses. Healthy fruits and fresh squeezed fruit juices are the best sources of Vitamin C.
* Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties help protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. One clinical study showed that vitamin E can cut the risk of developing cataracts in half. Another showed that the combination of vitamins C and E protected against UV rays.
The richest source of vitamin E is wheat germ. Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, and collard greens), sweet potatoes, avocado asparagus, and yams are also good sources of vitamin E.
* B Complex vitamins are necessary for nerve functions, especially vitamin B-12. The retinal receptor cells send all their messages through nerve fibers into the optic nerve and into the brain. 1000 mg of vitamin B-12 per day taken sublingually (under the tongue), is recommended for people with optic nerve disease or glaucoma.
B vitamins are abundant in meat and meat products such as liver, turkey, and tuna. Other good sources for B vitamins include whole grains, nutritional and brewers yeast, molasses, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chile peppers, tempeh and beans.
Top Minerals for Vision and Eye Health
* Magnesium is important in nerve conduction and it dilates blood vessels. It is especially important for maintaining blood flow to the eye and brain in elderly individuals with macular degeneration or diabetes, at a time of decreased blood pressure because they are lying down.
* Chromium is vitally important in regulation of blood sugar. The healthiest form of chromium by far is glucose transfer factor (GTF) chromium.
* Selenium is a trace mineral that helps boost immunity and fight off infections. It is an important co-factor for vitamin E, iodine, and glutathione reductase. Studies have identified low selenium levels in cataract sufferers.
* Zinc is essential for the conversion of beta-carotene into vitamin A. Our eyes contain the greatest concentration of zinc in our body. Zinc plays an important role in the action of many enzymes present in the retina and helps prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Note: supplementation of more than 30 mg of zinc daily requires adding 2 mg of copper.
* Copper is essential for the production of collagen, a component of connective tissues. Copper gluconate is a readily absorbable form of copper that is one of the most important blood antioxidants. It helps keep cell membranes healthy and aids red blood cells in hemoglobin production.
Another Important Compound for Vision and Eye Health
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a very important nerve stabilizer and is helpful in diabetics, and in patients with glaucoma, to protect their remaining optic nerve fibers.
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