For most of us seeing clearly is a fundamental daily experience that we take for granted. But we shouldn’t. More than 10 million Americans over 55 experience macular degeneration, which causes you to slowly lose sight of items in the middle of your field of vision. A leading cause of blindness in older people, macular degeneration is irreversible, but scientists are researching what steps we can take to help prevent it. Eating well may be one of them.
Add in Antioxidants
A large-scale study at the National Eye Institute found that taking high levels of certain antioxidants and zinc can significantly reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Subjects in the study took high doses of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc oxide and copper oxide. And while the NEI does not recommend everyone follow the same regimen, experts do advise making sure you get plenty of these nutrients in a healthy diet. So you can try:
- Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, Brussels’ sprouts, and broccoli
- Vitamin E: avocados, nuts, seeds, wheat germ
- Beta-Carotene: Foods that are bright orange or deep green, including carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, peaches and leafy greens such as kale, collards and spinach
- Zinc: Turkey, chicken, oysters, chickpeas, fortified cereal