Over the past two decades a lot of research has been done to link diet and nutrition with decreasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration. The studies confirm the value of the following nutrients:
Zinc: This is a trace mineral that assists vitamin A on its journey to the retina to produce melanin. Melanin is a protective pigment in our eyes. Red meat, chicken, shellfish, milk, and whole grains are a good source of zinc.
Essential fatty acids: These assist in maintenance of our nervous system and boost our immune system by fueling cells. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve visual development and retinal function. Good sources for Omega-3 fatty acits are flax seed oil and fatty fish, like salmon, tuna and sardines.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that works to protect our eyes from free radicals. Almonds, pecans, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds are delicious foods that provide vitamin E.
Vitamin C has shown promise in reducing the risk of cataracts and the progression of macular degeneration. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes to name a few foods that enhance visual health.
Lutein has been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Colorful fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, peas, oranges, and many others provide lutein
Zeaxanthin has also been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. As with lutein, colorful vegetables are a great source.
A new find is a site that has recipes that support eye health. Visit: http://www.aoa.org/x11857.xml and get some creative ideas for your next meal.