What’s The Proper Diet For Macular Degeneration Patients?
WHAT’S THE PROPER DIET FOR MACULAR DEGENERATION PATIENTS?
Nutrition can help slow down the effects of macular degeneration or preventing it altogether. The
following nutrients play a positive role in eye health:
- Vitamins A-C-E,
- Zinc, selenium, and magnesium
Anthocyanin is a coloring agent (pigment), which is rich in red-purple vegetables and fruits. It has a
strong antioxidant capacity.
It can help retina problems caused by aging or exposure to solar rays.
- Fruits and vegetables rich in anthocyanin include blueberries, black grapes, raisins, blackberries, plums, red cabbage, eggplant, raspberries, eggplant, radish and black carrots.
LUTEIN, ZEAXANTHIN and MESO-ZEAXANTHIN
Three dietary carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin accumulate at the central retina
(macula), where they are collectively referred to as macular pigment (MP).
They keep the macula safe from blue light and preserve the nerve cells through their antioxidant
effect. As their quantity decrease with age, nutritional supplement may become necessary for
preventing Macular Degeneration. Lutein also helps reduce cataract risk development by protecting
the lens from solar rays.
- Foods rich in lutein include broccoli, carrot, turnip, lettuce, spinach, tomato, zucchini, black cabbage, orange, kiwi, avocado and egg yolk.
- Foods rich in zeaxanthin include egg yolk, goji berry, spinach, broccoli, kiwi and corn.
- It is recommended to take 10-20 mg lutein and 2-10 mg zeaxanthin daily.
Omega 3 helps regulate the development of blood vessels.
Docosa Hexaenoic Acid (DHA), which is a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, supports both the structure and
functions of retina.
- Oily fish (especially sardines, tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring) and seafood, flax seed, walnut, chia, avocado and soya oil are important sources of DHA.
Since the saltwater fishes contain high-level of heavy metals, we suggest:
- to consume 2-3 portion of fish weekly (250-350 gr).
- to widen the variety instead of consuming the same fish repeatedly, in order to decrease the exposure of the body to the same heavy metals.
- to seek support from Omega-3 food supplements.
These may help prevent the disease’s progression from dry form to a wet form, which has a more
- Vitamin A can be found in apricot, asparagus, parsley and spinach.
- Vitamin C can be found in red grapes, citrus, strawberry, pepper.
- Vitamin E can be found in olive oil, soybean oil, walnut, almond, green leafy vegetables, kiwi, mango, banana and avocado.
Zinc helps prevent the progression of the disease from dry type to wet type.
- Important sources of zinc include oysters, wheat germ and bran.
It has a protective effect against dry-type macular degeneration.
- Walnut, meat, entrails, fish and shellfish contain are rich in selenium.
It is impossible to remove the age-related and hereditary factors that cause Macular Degeneration
altogether. However, other risk factors can be controlled.
- Do not smoke
- Increase the consumption of leafy greens and fruits
- Do not pour down the cooking water of vegetables and consume while it is still fresh.
- Follow the Mediterranean-eating pattern. (https://www.aoa.org/news/clinical-eye-care/mediterranean-diet )
- Stay away from foods like fried food that contain trans-fat and increase olive oil consumption.
- Salt consumption should not exceed 5 milligrams daily, and hyper-saline nutrients like tomato sauce, pickled or brined food should be avoided.
- Avoid foods like butter, tallow, tail fat that are rich in saturated fats.
- Stay away from entrails and meat and chicken with fat/skin.
- Hypertension should be kept under control, if it exists.
- Weight control is necessary.
- Exercise should not be neglected.
- If dry-type disease has started, nutrition supplements containing vitamin and minerals should be used under doctor supervision in order to prevent its transformation into wet-type.
We strongly recommend you to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
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