Dietary Considerations in Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration and its progression as an eye disease can be significantly impacted upon by the diet and nutrients a person intakes every day.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that a specific formulation of antioxidants and zinc showed up to 30% reduction in the rate of progression to advanced AMD and its associated vision loss. The formulations are not a cure and will not restore vision already lost to the disease. They have been shown to be effective in delaying progression to advanced AMD. It is always best to alter your own diet to ensure you are maximising the nutrients you need for healthy eyes.
The best foods to eat plenty of are:
- Green leafy vegetables: spinach, broccoli, rocket, cabbage
- Orange/Yellow Veges/Fruit: carrots, pumpkin, oranges, squash
- Blue/Purple Veges/Fruit: beetroot, blueberries
- Red/Pink Veges/Fruit: red grapes, cherries, raspberries, capsicum
All coloured fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants that are essential in maintaining good macula health. The recommended quantities by Dieticians Australia are 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables a day (1 serve = 1/2 cup).
Omega 3 fats are the best for your eye health. This means fish, canola oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil. Eat fish four times a week. The best fish are tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel.
Things to avoid:
- Too much red meat, sugar, refined carbs, fried, trans and saturated fats, processed foods
- If you take warfarin, you are not able to eat green leafy vegetables and you may be diet deficient in antioxidants. You should then take 1 x Macu-Vision® tablets per day.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin are macular pigments whose levels correspond to ARM. They are carotenoids that protect against phototoxic blue light and near UV radiation. Current research suggests 10-20mg of lutein a day is needed in ARM which is equivalent to one cup of raw spinach.
The above dietary changes can be supplemented by taking Blackmores 1x Macu-Vision® and 2x Lutein-Vision Advanced™ capsule’s per day to ensure your full nutrient needs are met. Lutein-Vision Advanced™ contains enough omega 3’s to give the full daily requirement which partially helps relieve dry eyes.