Eat Your Way to Healthy Eyes: Diet Tips to Prevent Macular Degeneration

Are you noticing that straight lines appear to be distorted or curved, your vision seems fuzzy, or there’s a growing dark area in your line of sight? If so, you may have age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition where the part of your eye that controls central vision breaks down over time. 

While no one knows exactly what causes this condition, the team at Paragon Eye Specialists in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, can help you develop some lifestyle changes to decrease your chances of developing AMD in the future. 

It’s not hard to eat your way to healthy eyes -- just read on to get our team’s diet tips to prevent macular degeneration.

Diet is key to prevention

What medical experts do know about AMD prevention is that diet significantly impacts your eye health. If your diet is high in fat and cholesterol but low in antioxidants, you may be more likely to develop AMD as you age. 

High glycemic index foods increase blood sugar, whereas low glycemic index foods stabilize blood sugar levels. You may want to avoid white rice, bread, and pasta, and instead fill your diet with more leafy green vegetables and whole grain breads.

Darker greens are better

You may have heard it from your mom growing up, and you’ll hear it from us too -- dark green vegetables are good for you. Vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are full of eye-healthy carotenoids that can decrease your risk of AMD.

Fish is good for you

Eating fish is another way to prevent AMD, according to a study done by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. In this study, older men who ate at least two servings of fish per week were able to cut their risk of developing AMD by half. 

Another study done by the University of Sydney evaluated a group of participants over age 49. Those who ate fish for a minimum of once per week were 40% less likely to develop early-stage AMD compared to those who ate fish less than once a month.

Eat more fruit

While not proven to be as effective as leafy greens, fruit can still help keep your eyes healthy over an extended period of time. Researchers believe that fruit’s lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid that forms part of the macula, is the key. If you don’t like fruits and veggies, consider taking a vitamin that is rich in lutein.

Go nuts

Pine nuts, cashews, and peanuts have been shown to prevent AMD. Turns out that eating nuts once a week greatly reduces your risk of developing AMD, so start putting together those trail mixes and nutty snacks. On the other hand, eating snacks with higher fat content (such as potato chips or baked goods) has the opposite effect.

Talk to an eye specialist today

If you’re concerned that you may have AMD or want to learn about more prevention tips, you can contact us by calling either our Arlington or Mansfield, Texas, office to schedule an appointment. Our skilled and caring team at Paragon Eye Specialists looks forward to hearing from you!

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