Macular degeneration is a progressive health condition that affects a person’s eyes. It often results in a loss of central vision but does not cause permanent blindness. While the disorder can affect anyone, it is more common among those aged 50 or above. Nutrition plays a significant role in managing macular degeneration symptoms and preventing them from worsening. Patients can consider adding the following healthy foods to their meal plan.
People who expose their eyes to the sun’s UV and HEV rays are likely to suffer from retina damage and increase their chances of developing macular degeneration. Zucchini contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which help defend one’s retina against harmful UV rays. Zucchini also lowers the risk of retinal damage associated with HEV light and helps repair the eyes. As a result, many healthcare experts advise people to add this vegetable to their meal plans. Zucchini keeps the eyes healthy and helps those with macular degeneration.
Whole grain oats
Whole grains are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Whole grain oats, in particular, provide vitamin E, iron, magnesium, vitamin B, and fiber. Eating them regularly helps prevent significant swings in blood sugar. This benefits people with macular degeneration because a dramatic increase in blood glucose can aggravate the condition’s symptoms and lead to vision impairment. Patients can enjoy whole grain foods in multiple ways. For instance, one can add cooked quinoa to whole grain salad or popcorn to make these dishes more delectable.
Any food that originates from the Mediterranean is considered good for health. Olive oil, one such food originating in the region, can be used in several dishes. It has loads of monounsaturated fats, which reduce LDL cholesterol (commonly called bad cholesterol) in one’s body while enhancing HDL cholesterol (known as good cholesterol). Extra virgin olive oil, a highly phenolic version of regular olive oil, contains several antioxidants that prevent inflammation in the body. Since prolonged inflammation is one of the primary causes of macular degeneration, olive oil automatically becomes a great food to thwart the development of this health condition.
Legumes are rich in zinc and copper, two minerals known to improve eye health directly and indirectly. Zinc, for instance, increases the antioxidant levels in the body by boosting its absorption. Legumes regulate cell function and reduce the possibility of developing macular degeneration. The food also reduces the severity of the symptoms in those already living with the condition.
Citrus fruits like oranges and cantaloupes contain vitamin C, which fights inflammation and boosts antioxidant levels. Therefore, people vulnerable to macular degeneration must eat citrus fruits daily. The habit may reduce the severity of the condition’s symptoms and improve overall eye health in the long run.