Growing evidence suggests that your eyes can benefit from good nutrition just as much as the rest of your body. Conversely, poor dietary choices or lack of certain elements in your food intake can put you at greater risk for vision problems and certain types of eye disease. For example, lack of Vitamin A is what causes many cases of childhood blindness in developing countries, due to lack of fresh vegetables, protein, and animal/plant fats. Anti-oxidants such as Lutein, Xeaxanthin and beta carotene have been proven to be beneficial in preventing vision loss in macular degeneration and cataracts, two diseases very common in Canada. And intake of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) helps to prevent dry eyes as well as helping certain cases of macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Click here to read an article Dr. Sallie Barclay wrote on dietary nutrition and macular
So what do you do to ensure you’re making the right choices for healthy eyes? Following is a guideline for foods to include on a regular basis to keep you seeing clearly (these are examples of foods that contain the referenced vitamin, this is not an exhaustive list):
Avoid too much Omega-6 fatty acids and refined white flour – these can pose a problem if excessive processed foods or meat are consumed, and may lead to increased risk for macular degeneration. Unfortunately, the typical North American diet contains up to 30 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3 fatty acids, which is also contributing to more heart disease, cancer, arthritis, asthma, and depression. Choose fresh vegetables whenever possible, but if not possible try to use frozen as opposed to canned (the canning process tends to remove the benefits of certain vitamins).
At your next visit your optometrist may make specific recommendations to your diet and/or vitamin intake if symptoms or conditions are discovered that may put you at risk for an eye problem or disease. Please contact our office for further information or request an appointment online to receive a full oculovisual assessment with your own personalized diet plan.