October 19, 2022
You can slow the progression of macular degeneration or prevent it through your diet. What you serve on your plate and put in your mouth daily plays a significant role in the health of your eyes. You have the power to avoid macular degeneration.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the macula of your eyes and distorts your central vision. It often affects older adults.
The macula is the part of the eye where vision is the sharpest. Macular degeneration is the known leading cause of loss of sight in adults above 55 years. Some foods can help prevent and slow the progression of AMD—there are also foods you should avoid to prevent AMD. Here are what you should not eat.
Junk food increases the risk of advanced macular degeneration. One can experience severe vision loss. They cause an accumulation of cholesterol plaque in the blood vessels all over the body, including the eyes. The plaques cause damage to blood vessels. It lessens the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from getting to the eyes.
Avoid foods such as potato chips, cookies, peanut butter, French fries, candy, and commercial cakes. Soft drinks are also not ideal.
Research shows that simple carbohydrates in meals such as pasta and bread increase the risk of macular degeneration. As a result, older adults experience vision loss. Such meals get digested quickly by the body and spike blood sugar. Health experts suggest swapping such foods for whole grain varieties.
Avoid oils such as palm or coconut with high amounts of hydrogenated fats. They have a similar effect as a diet filled with sugar and saturated fat. They impact the progression of macular degeneration.
Instead, opt for flaxseed and olive oils. They have anti-inflammatory properties and cannot clog the blood vessels in your body and your eyes.
Ideal Foods for Macular Degeneration
The ideal foods for macular degeneration contain nutrients, minerals, and vitamins in healthy amounts. Eat vegetables and fruits, seeds, nuts, and fish. The macula has antioxidants and carotenoids that protect your photoreceptors. A diet filled with vegetables with carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein boosts the pigment that protects your macula. As a result, your AMD slows or prevents the disease from developing.
Boost carotenoid intake by eating bright yellow, dark green, and red vegetables. Eat plenty of collard greens, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, carrots, orange, and red peppers.
Vitamin C helps with the building of collagen. It helps develop blood vessels that are strong in your body and eyes. If the eyes get vitamin C, they also process the nutrients much faster. Individuals who suffer from AMD can benefit from taking foods with vitamin C as they slow the progression of the condition. Citrus fruits like oranges and tangerines are good sources. Peaches, apples, and bananas also have plenty of vitamin C.
Omega-3s also have plenty of benefits. They slow the progression of macular degeneration and reduce the risk of getting it. Fatty acids reduce blockages in blood vessels in your body, including the eyes, because they are anti-inflammatory. You can get omega-3 fatty acids in high levels by eating fish like salmon, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and mackerel.
If you eat a balanced diet and are still concerned with the genetic risks of AMD or have it and want to be proactive in treatment, there are also supplements that can be added to a daily vitamin routine.
For more about macular degeneration or to be screened, call East Main Vision Clinic in Puyallup, WA at (253) 780-0700 to book an appointment today.