Wednesday, 9 January 2019

12 Foods to Prevent Glaucoma

Few people give their eyes much consideration until something goes wrong with them. But, nutritionally protecting our eyes is as important as eating healthy to maintain a healthy body weight, or balanced blood sugar, or brain health. Considering that neurodegenerative eye diseases like glaucoma can increase with frequency as we age, it is time to start nourishing your eyes. And, since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, there has never been a better time to start eating to prevent the eye condition.
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which increased pressure in the eye distorts the shape of the eyeball and damages the lens. It can cause blindness, if adequate measures aren’t taken to control the condition. Making healthy food choices is critical to prevent glaucoma, so I’ve shared some of the best food choices below. Of course, it is also important to cut back on salt because excess sodium increases the intraocular pressure in the eyes, aggravating the condition.


Rich in alpha-carotene, a type of carotenoid, which is a group of about 700 different yellow-orange-red pigments found in fruits and vegetables, apricots are great for eye health. Alpha carotene helps to maintain healthy eyes and quells inflammation in the eyes.


Nutrients like alpha-carotene and anthocyanins give blackberries their gorgeous color but also help to protect the eyes against harmful free radicals. The nutrient rutin improves eye health and helps strengthen blood vessels to the eyes.


Like blackberries, blueberries also contain plentiful amounts of eye-protecting anthocyanins. Blueberries also help quell inflammation, which is a factor in glaucoma. 


If you’ve ever bitten into a grapefruit and tasted their signature bitter-sour flavor, you’ve tasted a potent eye-healing nutrient known as naringin. This bitter-tasting plant nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the retina in the eyes. It is primarily found in grapefruit.


Leafy greens like collards, kale and lettuce contain a wide range of carotenoids, including alpha carotene and beta carotene, which are precursors to eye-healing vitamin A. Additionally, they contain lutein which acts as an antioxidant to the eyes to protect them from free radical damage.


You may be surprised to see leeks on the list of foods that protect against glaucoma. But, leeks are great for your eyes. They contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, making them doubly important to ensure eye health. Fortunately, they’re an easy replacement for onions in any of your recipes.


Rich in the nutrient known as zeaxanthin which helps prevent against degeneration of the eyes, fresh, frozen or dried mangos are an excellent choice to protect your eyes from glaucoma.


Both oranges and grapefruit contain the nutrient rutin, which is needed so your body can properly absorb vitamin C. Rutin is a powerful nutrient that improves overall eye health and strengthens blood vessels, especially the small capillaries in the eyes. Because it also improves circulation and acts as an antioxidant against free radical damage, it is beneficial for the prevention and treatment of glaucoma. It is found in citrus fruits, including grapefruit and oranges, but you will need to eat some of the white pith to obtain this nutrient.


Pomegranates support healthy blood vessels in the eyes. That ruby-red color of pomegranate seeds provides visual confirmation of high levels of antioxidants that help protect artery walls from free radical damage. Both the fresh fruit and the juice are excellent choices to prevent glaucoma.


Brew up a batch of rosehip tea to enjoy the vitamin C and rutin needed to protect the blood vessels in your eyes and to help normalize ocular pressure. Rutin helps with the absorption of vitamin C, and the nutrients work together to protect the eyes from age-related damage.


Like mangoes, sweet potatoes contain zeaxanthin as well as beta carotene, both of which help prevent glaucoma. Zeaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that protects the eyes from free radical damage while beta carotene is needed in sufficient amounts to ensure healthy vision.


According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Opthalmology, eating a diet high in EPA and DHA, two types of Omega 3s found in fatty fish like wild salmon, can help reduce the risk and severity of glaucoma. Researchers also believe that an incorrect ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s may play a causative role in glaucoma, particularly since high amounts of Omega 6s without sufficient Omega 3s can cause inflammation, which may aggravate the eye disease.

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