Letâs talk about eyesight for a minute, specifically, macular degeneration. This condition can creep up on you as your eyes age. What happens, in a nutshell, is that your maculaâthe part of your eye that helps you see clear images in your central visionâis slowly destroyed. The risk for macular degeneration increases the older you get. Sometimes the disease progresses slowly, and sometimes it progresses faster, and causes vision loss in one or both eyes.
So hereâs an idea about how to keep this eye disease from potentially threatening your eyesight: boost your omega-3 levels and your beta-carotene levels. How does this combination of two healing nutrients protect you against macular degeneration? For the answer to that, letâs turn to some evidence from a clinical trial conducted at the Centre for Vision Research at Westmead Hospital in Australia.
Researchers there conducted a very thorough study, following 3,654 elderly adults for 10 years. The researchers assessed age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and compared these statistics with dietary intake. Now for the results:
Even just one serving of fish a week was associated with a reduced risk for early AMD. Hereâs the interesting part: the results mostly appeared in participants whose linoleic acid consumption was below the average.
One to two servings of nuts per week was also associated with a lower risk of early AMD. This was especially true for non-smokers, those with lower than average HDL cholesterol, and those with greater than median beta-carotene intake.
So letâs see if we can piece together this puzzle: youâll want to eat fish and nuts once or twice a week, with some flaxseeds and other food sources of omega-3s thrown in for good measure. At the same time, make sure youâre getting enough beta-carotene by eating lots of sweet potato, kale, and carrots. And try to avoid eating too many foods high in linoleic acid (such as safflower oil and soybean oil).
Source(s) for Todayâs Article:
Tans, J.S., et al., âDietary fatty acids and the 10-year incidence of age-related macular degeneration: the Blue Mountains Eye Study,â Arch Ophthalmol. May 2009; 127(5): 656-65.