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Did You Know That Certain Foods Can Improve Vision?

Dr. Katia Taba, Board-Certified Ophthalmologist and Retinal Specialist

Did You Know That Certain Foods Can Improve VisionAccording to a recent article published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, titled, 36 Fabulous Foods to Boost Eye Health, these are a few foods from the list you might want to enjoy for better vision:

Orange-colored vegetables and fruits with vitamin A
Perhaps the best-known eye-healthy nutrient is vitamin A. Your retina needs plenty of vitamin A to help turn light rays into the images we see. Also, without enough vitamin A, your eyes can’t stay moist enough to prevent dry eye.1

Carrots are a well-known source of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes provide even more vitamin A sweet potato has more than 200% of the daily dose of vitamin A doctors recommend. Fruits, including cantaloupe and apricots, can be a good source of vitamin A.1

Fruits and veggies rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is critical to eye health. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect the body from damage caused by some things we eat, unhealthy habits and environmental factors. Fried foods, tobacco smoke and the sun’s rays can produce free radicals–molecules that can damage and kill cells. Vitamin C helps repair and grow new tissue cells.1

Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons. Lots of other foods offer vitamin C, including peaches, red bell peppers, tomatoes and strawberries. Antioxidants can prevent or at least delay age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, according to the Age-Related Eye Diseases Study (AREDS).1

Vitamin E
Another important antioxidant is vitamin E, which helps keep cells healthy. Vitamin E can be found in avocados, almonds and sunflower seeds.1

Cold-water fish with omega-3 fatty acids
Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish may help reduce the risk of developing eye disease later in life, research suggests. These fish include salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut and trout. Omega-3’s are good for tear function, so eating fish may help people with dry eye.1

Leafy green vegetables rich in lutein and zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants found in the pigments of leafy green vegetables and other brightly colored foods. They are key to protecting the macula, the area of the eye that gives us our central, most detailed vision. Kale and spinach have plenty of these nutrients. Other foods with useful amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin include romaine lettuce, collards, turnip greens, broccoli and peas. And while not leafy and green, eggs also are a good source of these nutrients.1

Beans and zinc
The mineral zinc helps keep the retina healthy and may protect your eyes from the damaging effects of light. However, zinc can lower the amount of copper in your body, which we need to help form red blood cells. Fortunately, you can increase both at once with all kinds of beans (legumes), including black-eyed peas, kidney beans and lima beans. Other foods high in zinc include oysters, lean red meat, poultry and fortified cereals.1

Similarly, Vitamins & Supplements can Help Too
There have been numerous reports and studies on the effectiveness of certain nutrients that may prevent or delay eye disorders and disease. Dr. Taba, Ophthalmologist and Retina Specialist recommends eye vitamins to some of her patients depending on their current medications and specific condition. On the contrary, if you don’t need to supplement, it’s best to get your vitamins and nutrients from food.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there are 13 known vitamins, 3 of which have been proven to help your eyes. Foods rich in vitamins A, C and E are good for your eyes and general health.

Vitamin A is good for the cornea. Vitamins C and E can help prevent eye diseases when you get older such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Starting a vitamin-rich diet now will give you healthy habits to follow all your life.2

AREDS2 Study
• Major clinical trial sponsored by the NEI (National Eye Institute)
• Started in 2006, ended in 2012
• 4,200 participants with moderate to advanced Age-related Macular Degeneration
• Examined benefits of adding lutein & zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids to original AREDS formula
• Removed beta-carotene (due to concerns regarding the increased risk of lung cancer in  current or former smokers)
• Added lutein and zeaxanthin2

Vitamins are NOT ALWAYS the Answer
When you consider taking ANY supplements, you should check with your physician first. Dr. Taba sees many patients in her practice that present already taking eye vitamins, when they don’t need to. In some cases, this could pose further damage than good.

Personalized Retina Care of Naples
Whether you are concerned about your eye health, would like to establish a baseline exam or are experiencing any changes such as blurry vision, impaired vision, pain or any other eye irregularities, it is imperative that you see an ophthalmologist right away. The earlier disease or disorders are detected, the better the outcome and treatment options are for you.

Personalized Retina Care of Naples provides incomparable diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment for retinal diseases and general eye disorders. She offers a second opinion to help clarify your eye condition. Dr. Taba is a Board-Certified Ophthalmologist and is Fellowship trained in surgical and medical retinal diseases.

References:
1. C Viemont, 36 fabulous Foods…, American Academy of Ophthalmology, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/fabulous-foods-your-eyes
2. AAO, “Healthy Eyes,” Vitamins, American Academy of Ophthalmology
aao.org, 2019 https://www.nei.nih.gov/areds2

There are ways to prevent the progression of low sight, regain your independence and correct your vision. To find out more, or to schedule your appointment, please call (239) 325-3970 today.

Personalized Retina Care of Naples
www.retinanaples.com
| 239-325-3970

3467 Pine Ridge Rd., Suite 103, Naples 34109

 

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