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Ocular Nutrition 'Eating for Your Eyes

As early as in our 30's, our eyes and vision can begin to deteriorate. Wind, dust, chlorine fumes, automobile fumes, smoking, freezing temperatures and physical injury are examples of threats to healthy eyes and good vision. Long hours spent at a computer screen and the vibration from driving have a cumulative negative impact on eye health over time.

Healthy vision is related to the health of the individual parts of the eye 'the cornea, iris, macula, lens, optic nerve, pupil, retina and the vitreous humor. And what we eat or ocular nutrition is one of the ways that eye health and good vision can be supported. Information provided by the U.S. National Eye Institute and the results of other ocular nutrition studies have shown that using nutrition to improve and support eye health definitely happens.

Here are foods that are known to improve eye health:

Collard greens, kale and spinach 'studies show that eating foods rich in carotenoids is associated with reduced risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Foods rich in carotenoids are leafy green vegetables such as spinach, collard greens and kale. Macular eye nutrition becomes increasingly important as we get older.

Green vegetables and corn 'a study on ocular nutrition has shown a reduced risk of developing cataracts for persons having diets higher in lutein and zeaxanthin. Foods high in these two carotenoids include broccoli, collard greens, corn, green peas, kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens and zucchini. Lutein is also found in egg yolks. Persons with diets high in lutein and zeaxanthin were also less likely to need cataract surgery. In another study done on persons ages 40-59, those with diets high in lutein and zeaxanthin experienced a reduced risk of developing adult macular degeneration.

Apricots, bilberries and blueberries 'apricots are rich in beta carotene and lycopene that help promote good vision. Beta carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A as needed, an important antioxidant that resists oxidative stress damage to cells and tissues including the eye lenses. Continued oxidative stress may result in the development of cataracts or damage the blood supply to the eyes and lead to macular degeneration. Eating blueberries has been associated with the reduction of eye fatigue.

Blueberries are related to cranberries, and both also help the body resist urinary tract infections. Bilberries are a form of wild blueberry that grow on small bushes. Bilberries were used by British pilots to improve their night vision during World War 2. Fresh bilberries and bilberry jams would be sources of this ocular nutrition food. Bilberry seems to improve eye health by increasing the blood supply to the eyes.

By understanding which foods help support eye health and good vision, we can include more of these foods in our daily meal planning. For additional ways to obtain essential nutrients for eye health and vision, visit Ocular Nutrition to read more. Giving our eyes nutritional support can be one way to help maintain eye health as we age.

Copyright 2005 Olinda Rola.
Olinda Rola is the webmaster of http://www.safemenopausesolutions.com, a website of natural solutions for a variety of health problems. Visit her website and learn more about ways for improving your health. She is the editor of the free newsletter 'Women's Health Newsletter'. Go to http://www.safemenopausesolutions.com/womenshealthnewsletter.html to subscribe.


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