Eye-Diet--protecting your eyes, more than just sunglasses

by jane ubell May 29, 2013

Stamford CT, May 28, 213

The Eye-Diet---this originally ran Sept 2012, the information is too good not to pass along!

We all know that aging affects our health. According to the experts, nearly 90 million Americans have used or purchased anti-aging remedies. It's no secret that Baby Boomers are out there every day seeking revolutionary procedures and "miracle" anti-aging remedies and surgeries desperate to turn back the clock. But, what about their aging eyes, their vision?

Jane Ubell-Meyer, founder of Madison & Mulholland Eyewear, a  designer of optical quality reading glasses has noticed her customers are realizing there's more to protecting the aging eye than just a logo embellished pair of sunglasses. 

They are now beginning to ask the right questions. Do the sun-readers protect the eyes from harmful UVA/UVB rays? 

And...What can they can do to protect their vision from the inside out. 

What should we do to prevent age-related vision diseases? 
Medical Doctors, nutritionists and researchers are all in agreement, protecting your eyes from ultra violet rays are important however, nutrition does play a key role in preventing vision loss. Hilary Ronner, MD, a prominent New York City based Ophthalmologist agrees, "It is well known that exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays can damage your eyes and that people with blue eyes (a lack pigment in the iris) are more prone to age-related vision diseases like macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts compared to the brown-eyed population. Preventing vision loss and diseases related to the eyes is something we should all take an active role and good nutrition is vital." 

What can we do to help enhance the health of our vision? Experts agree, the nutritional choices we make everyday may prevent or delay the on-set of vision problems. 

Ever since I was a kid, I was told to "eat my carrots" as "they were good for my eyes". Is that really true?

Hilary Ronner, MD explains, "It's not only carrots but dark colored fruits and leafy vegetables. For eye optimal health, look for nutritional sources of high levels of beta-carotene and carotenoids. Anti-oxidants found in green leafy vegetables, as well as in some vitamins formulated for the eye may slow down the vision loss from these harmful eye diseases". 

"The Anti-aging EYE-Diet" 

Pack each day with the following "color" foods red, orange, and green. If you are 40+ adding the following foods may save you from vision problems later on.

Red Bell Peppers (raw) are the #1 source of Beta-Carotene.
Beta-Carotene, a carotenoid and antioxidant are known for aiding in night vision while maintaining good vision and may play a small role in cataract prevention. 

Foods high in Beta-Carotene: Romaine or Green Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, and Carrots

Papaya leads the list...in Vitamin C: also high in anti-oxidants, Vitamin C can help protect against the damages of ultra-violet light. The normal aging process combined with exposure to UVB can hasten the development of cataracts. (For more on cataracts) http://www.emedicinehealth.com/cataracts/article_em.htm

Foods high in Vitamin C: Red Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Strawberries, (Citrus) Oranges, and Cantaloupe.

Raw Sunflower seeds excellent source of "Vitamin E" Do not avoid a completely "fat-free" diet, as the water-soluble Vitamin E, found in vegetable oils may help in the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration. 

Foods high in Vitamin E: Almonds, Olives, Spinach, Papaya Swiss Chard, Wheat germ oil, cottonseed oil, wheat germ, papaya, blueberries, and peanut butter.

Oysters are a rich source of Zinc. Zinc is critical to your sense of smell and taste and actually may protect your eyes from early AMD. It's also important to the health of the retina, the back part of the eye that senses light. 
Foods high in Zinc: Wheat germ, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, sunflower seeds, almonds, tofu, brown rice, milk, ground beef and chicken.

Dr. Ronner also suggests adding Selenium. Shiitake or button mushrooms, Brazil nuts, sardines, tuna and swordfish are selenium-rich foods. A Final Note from Dr. Hilary Ronner: "Everyone over the age of 35 should have a complete ophthalmologic exam every 2 years (then at 40, every year) to check for elevated eye pressure which could indicate early glaucoma as well as retinal dilation to pick up early signs of macular degeneration, since there are now excellent treatments to inhibit vision loss if it is diagnosed early. People with a family history of either of these diseases should pay particular attention to having an annual exam after age 35 since they are very controllable. " 

Hilary Ronner, MD hjronner@yahoo.com

Madison & Mulholland Eyewear: http://www.ReadersMM.com
917 848 3353
Other Sources: 
Hilary Ronner, MD hjronner@yahoo.com

jane ubell
jane ubell


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