Forget apples. If you want to keep the doctor away, you might want to reach for an orange instead. Well, the eye doctor at least.
Here’s why. As part of a recent study, Australian researchers tracked the dietary habits of more than 2,000 older adults for roughly fifteen years. And they found that eating at least one serving of oranges daily reduces the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is a major cause of blindness. And we’re not talking about a small drop here, either. Risk plummeted by a stunning 60 percent.
Previous research has focused on specific vitamins including C, E and A for vision protection. But the data from this latest study suggests that it’s actually flavonoids at work here.
You can find these powerful antioxidant phytochemicals in a variety of foods. Foods such as tea, red wine, cocoa, berries, and of course, apples.
But it just so happens that only oranges delivered the goods in this particular study… suggesting that they offer unique benefits to aging eyes. And that’s important because the vision loss that accompanies AMD is permanent.
AMD prevention starts in the kitchen
There’s no cure for AMD. But there are some nutrients that could help halt the process before it even starts. And not all of them require eating oranges every day…
Research shows anti-inflammatory resveratrol can halt the abnormal blood vessel growth associated with “wet” AMD. And the powerful antioxidant can slow the degeneration of eye tissue associated with the eye disease, as well.
Red wine is the most well-known dietary source of resveratrol. But you can also find it in grapes, cranberries, blueberries and peanuts.
2. Lutein and zeaxanthin:
According to a number of studies, the powerhouse carotenoid combo of lutein and zeaxanthin can increase the protective macular pigment in your eyes. And with more pigment to shield your eyes, your risk for AMD shrinks.
You can get a hearty dose of both lutein and zeaxanthin by filling up on dark leafy greens.
As part of a decade-long study published in 2011, scientists looked specifically at women’s dietary intake of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Their research revealed there was a 42 percent lower risk of AMD among women eating one or more servings of omega-3-rich fish per week.
To take advantage of the eyesight savings benefit of omega-3 yourself reach for more fatty, wild-caught, cold-water fish. Good choices include mackerel, tuna and salmon.
The humble mineral zinc was a staple in the clinically proven nutrient combos researched in the breakthrough Age-Related Eye Disease Study. And in all cases, zinc helped to halt AMD… even the advanced ones.
Rich sources of zinc include spinach, beef, oysters, kidney beans and flax.
Slamming the brakes on AMD doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Because the fight to save your vision starts with a well-stocked refrigerator.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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