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CHEERS to your ocular health.

Did you know that nutrition plays a vital role in your ocular health?

Cardiologists stress lean meats, red wine, and exercise for your heart health. But what about your eyes? Well, studies show there are distinct food groups that show extreme benefit to the well being of your vision.

Lutein, found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli create an added insulation in your retina against macular degeneration. Yellow vegetables and fruit (squash, yellow watermelon) as well as Omega III supplements (fish oil or flax seed oil) also help boost the pigment cells in the macula to promote crisp vision. As a side note, it is best to purchase molecularly distilled fish oil, and take the pills at night to prevent unwanted GI effects or “fish burp” which occurs with less expensive, non distilled fish oils. Remember, not all fish oil pills are created equally.

What about preventing cataracts you ask? Well, studies have shown that vitamin C found in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and kiwi can slow down cataract formation. Cutting your UV exposure by wearing sunglasses with UV-A and UV-B protection will also help, as well as smoking cessation. You see, cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens of the eye that causes symptoms such as dim vision, glare at night, decreased focusing, and blurred vision.

Macular Degeneration is a condition of the retina in the back of the eye that causes symptoms of loosing the fine detail vision we have been used to, replacing it with a central scotomas or blind spots. Your central vision gets destroyed by this disease. Macular Degeneration is an inherited disease, as well as some cataract formations, so check your family history to see if you are at greater risk.

It behooves you to be aware of these conditions that affect millions of people worldwide, and do your best to incorporate preventative care such as good nutrition, regular check ups with your eye care practitioner, and preventing sun exposure as well as not smoking. Additionally, cooked food devalues the precious live enzymes, so these foods are best eaten raw.

Remember, you can play a vital role in your ocular health. After all, remember Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who said: "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food".

And lastly if you don’t have time to eat all those fruits and vegetables in a day consider a fruit or vegetable smoothie and then drink to your good ocular health!

 

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