Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are the two most common causes for blindness in the elderly – both of which are attributed to free radical damage.
However, conditions like obesity and diabetes can also have a detrimental impact on your eyesight… And, as expected, so can two of the most commonly used pharmaceutical drugs:
A study in 2013 showed how patients who took a daily low-dose aspirin were twice as likely to develop wet AMD. If you are elderly, chances are your doctor has recommended daily aspirin therapy to help protect your heart – a misguided recommendation at the very least because a more recent study has shown that aspirin therapy only prevented 40 fewer heart-related deaths for every 100,000 people who follow the baby aspirin routine.
Adding to that, with the mainstream’s cholesterol-lowering obsession, if you’re over the age of 50, you have probably also been given a statin prescription. Side effects linked to statin drugs include an increased risk of high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes, muscle pain and damage, kidney and liver damage, and memory loss… and yes, you guessed it… age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
The secret lies in your diet
With the natural ageing process to contend with and the mainstream’s drug-driven approach to prevent disease and ‘protect’ your health, it’s no wonder that the elderly often feel caught in a trap of spiralling ill-health… and for many AMD is a threat that is almost certainly on the cards.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. A diet rich in antioxidants can help repair the free radical damage that contributes to AMD… and it may even improve your eyesight.
Here are three superfoods that can help improve your eyesight:
- Kale: Loaded with both lutein and zeaxanthin, kale can help prevent macular degeneration and other retinal diseases associated with ultraviolet light-induced oxidative stress. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both important nutrients for eye health. Both are found in high concentrations in your macula – the small central part of your retina responsible for detailed central vision.Other food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are spinach and egg yolks.
- Salmon: Salmon is a rich source of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. Omega-3 DHA is concentrated in your eye’s retina, where it provides structural support to cell membranes that boost eye health and protect retinal function. One study has found that patients with the highest intake of animal-based omega-3 fats have a 60 per cent lower risk of advanced macular degeneration, compared to those who consume the least.Salmon also contains another nutrient that is considered to be among the most important nutrients for the prevention of blindness, namely astaxanthin. Dr. Mark Tso, from the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, has found that astaxanthin could help prevent light-induced damage, photoreceptor cell damage, ganglion cell damage, and damage to the neurons of the inner retinal layers.
- Bilberry: A close relative of the blueberry, bilberries contain high amounts of anthocyanins – another powerhouse for eye health. A study, published in the journal Advances in Gerontology, found that bilberry may be of particular benefit for inhibiting or reversing macular degeneration.
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“Review of Daily Aspirin Dosage Highlights Concerns About Side Effects” Science Daily, 10/24/13, sciencedaily.com
Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Apr;51(4):656-7
American Optometric Association, Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Opthalmology 117 (12): 2395-2401, December 2010
Advances in Gerontology 2005;16:76-9