Nutrients play an enormous role in preventing and treating the leading causes of impaired vision in North America-cataracts and macular degeneration. In both conditions, the eye’s normal protective mechanisms are unable to prevent damage to the lens and macula, respectively. Certain nutrients are essential in maintaining eye health, preventing these diseases, and improving visual function when these conditions do develop. A diet high in richly colored fruits, particularly berries and grapes, and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, helps to lower your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration. Initially it was believed that this protection was the result of increased intake of antioxidant vitamins and minerals. However, various “nonessential” food components, such as non-provitamin A carotenes like lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and flavonoids, were later shown to be even more significant in protecting against cataracts and macular degeneration than traditional nutritional antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
Let’s look at some of the most important nutrients for improving eye health.
Where to find Lutein: dark leafy greens, pistachios, peas, cucumber and celery
Nutritional AntioxidantsNutritional antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, and selenium are extremely important for eye health. While research has often focused on just one of these nutrients, studies conducted by the Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group (AREDS) confirm that a combination of these nutrients produces better results than any single nutrient alone. Yet, even something as simple as taking vitamin C or zinc can produce dramatic effects in preserving eye health. In one study, the use of vitamin C supplements for greater than 10 years was associated with a 77% lower rate of cataract formation compared to those who did not take a vitamin C supplement.
Zinc is perhaps the most important mineral for eye health, as it plays an essential role in the metabolism of the retina and the visual process. Levels of zinc have been shown to be greatly reduced in over 90% of cataract cases. Zinc is also involved in protecting against macular degeneration. A two-year double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 151 subjects demonstrated that the group taking a zinc supplement had significantly less visual loss than the placebo group.
Where to find Vitamin C: Bell peppers, kale, kiwi, papayas, oranges and clementines, strawberries
Where to find Zinc: Oysters, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, crab
Info Source from www.doctormurray.com
Where to Buy: Eye & Vision Care, iHerb.com
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