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Nutrition Tips to Avoid Macular Degeneration

Updated on October 30, 2012

Macular degeneration is the official name of the condition that causes many of us to have worsening eyesight as we age. The reason that this happens is because the retina of the eye gets damaged over time. This makes it difficult for us to see fine details, requiring us to start to need glasses for tasks like reading. There is currently no cure for macular degeneration. However, research indicates that it may be possible to prevent or delay macular degeneration using proper nutrition. This includes getting enough vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc and copper into your diet. You also need to get enough of the right types of fats while decreasing your intake of bad fats.

Follow these nutrition tips to help prevent macular degeneration:

· Antioxidants are the key. Antioxidants are important for many different health issues and one of those is to help with macular degeneration. Part of the reason for this is because they are often rich in important vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin E. These two vitamins help to protect the health of your eyes.

· Are you eating your broccoli? Broccoli is a terrific source of Vitamin C and you need to get more Vitamin C into your diet if you want to prevent macular degeneration.

· Don’t forget your leafy green foods. These foods are great for so many different reasons. They include a lot of the vitamins that you need. One of the things that is really important for people who are trying to prevent macular degeneration is that they get enough beta-carotene into their diet. Specifically, you need the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which can be found in green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. The best thing that you can do is to eat these foods raw. If you do cook them, make sure that you don’t overcook them because this takes the nutrition right out of them.

· Eat a lot of citrus fruits. This is one of the best sources of Vitamin C, which is one of the most important vitamins that you need in your diet if you want to prevent macular degeneration. Oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits are great for your diet.

· Get enough fiber into your diet. Studies indicate that people who have a diet that is rich in fiber are people who may be less likely to have problems with macular degeneration. Are you eating enough fiber?

· Learn about fats. One of the things that you need to do is to stop eating “bad fats” and start eating “good fats”. Healthy fats are the Omega-3 fats which you can find in olive oil, avocados and some types of fish (such as salmon).

· Make sure that you are eating nuts and beans. There are two reasons that these things are important. First of all, they are rich in Vitamin E, which is one of the vitamins that your eyes need. Additionally, they are rick in protein which will help to provide you with the protective ingredients that are considered to be important for preventing macular degeneration. Many nuts also contain the copper and zinc that you need to be getting into your diet.

· Seeds are good, too. If you are looking for a good snack food that also provides the nutrition that you need to prevent macular degeneration then look no further than seeds. They contain the copper that your body needs as well as some of the zinc that you need in your diet. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and squash seeds are all good seeds to snack on.

· Start your day with a cup of fresh orange juice. This is a terrific way to start adding more Vitamin C to your diet easily. Of course, you can also just eat a fresh orange or two each morning but many people like to start their mornings off with a beverage and this is a great choice.

· Switch to whole grains. It has been found in studies that people who eat a diet that is filled with complex carbohydrates may be less likely to experience macular degeneration than people who do not. You want to start reducing your intake of white grains (white rice, white pasta) and switch instead to eating whole grain pastas, cereals, rice and breads. Additionally, whole grains may contain copper and zinc which need to be added to your diet.

· Think yellow and orange in the produce section. You really need to get more beta-carotene into your diet if you want to prevent eye health problems as you age. This can be found in fresh produce that is colored orange or yellow (although citrus fruits don’t qualify). You want to look for squash, peaches and carrots. Add these to your diet liberally.

Getting the right nutrition just might prevent you from having eye problems as you age. Since there is no cure for macular degeneration, you want to do what you can to prevent it through proper nutrition. Of course, you will want to seek the expert opinion of your doctor to make sure that you’re getting enough of the important ingredients that you need to prevent this condition. You may need to add a supplement to your diet as well, especially if you are not getting enough Vitamin C as you age. It’s always best to get your nutrition from natural food sources when you can, though.


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  • katiem2 profile image

    katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

    Great Hub we all need to learn more about our eye sight, great hub indeed. Peace :)