By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist
Which of your five senses is most important to you? If you said “sight,” you’d be in the majority—four out of five baby boomers chose sight in a survey by the Ocular Nutrition Society.
So be proactive about protecting your sight: Eating to ensure your eyes stay healthy is as easy as following these three steps:
Choose antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E protect your eyes from free radicals, damaging compounds that can cause cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. A recent study of Swedish women found that those who consumed a diet with the most antioxidant power (one that featured antioxidants that worked best together to protect health) were 13 percent less likely to develop cataracts. Fruits and vegetables topped the list of main sources of antioxidants with 44 percent, followed by whole grains (17 percent) and coffee (15 percent).
According to a new study, women who do three of the most important things in health- eat right, exercise, and don’t smoke – have a much lower chance of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Participants in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, as compared to women who were sedentary, smoked and ate processed and fatty foods, were two thirds less likely to develop AMD.
Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that gradually destroys sharp, central vision, which is needed for seeing objects clearly and for daily tasks like reading and driving. While it causes no pain, AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years or older.
The study was a longtime in the making, as the women who were chosen were recruited from a group of people who provided detailed dietary and lifestyle information over a six year period. (more…)
At least one-third of annual cancer deaths in the United States are related to dietary factors. Increased fruit and vegetable consumption can reduce cancer risk, but less than one-third of U.S. adults eat the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Eating healthy, including fruits and vegetables loaded with phytochemicals (powerful antioxidants), and following a low fat diet helps people manage weight and prevent disease! Think about it, every day you have choices of what to eat. You have the power to keep yourself healthy from the inside out. (more…)
There’s further reason to avoid trans fats, and get an ample amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Your eyesight.
New research from two teams in Australia shows that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of developing a retina-destroying condition known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). On the flip side, researchers found that those who ate the most trans fats were almost twice as likely to develop AMD.
The findings aren’t new. In fact, experts have known about the eyesight/omega-3 connection for about a decade. But the latest study helps reaffirm earlier evidence. (more…)