Hazel Pelham from Devon Nutrition is my resident expert here on diet and nutrition and this is her latest article about Nutrition for Good Vision.
By Hazel Pelham.
It’s just your age, or is it? Recent research points to vitamin and mineral deficiencies as a major factor in eye diseases including cararacts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
My interest was sparked by the story of a 90 year old lady who had stopped going out alone because of loss of vision due to macular degeneration.
A nutritionally minded doctor recommended bilberry capsules. Within a few weeks she was delighted to report that her vision had improved enough for her to regain her Independence and go about unaided.
A small increase in vision can mean a huge increase in quality of life and also reduce the risk of falls and other accidents. So which foods can help?
Billberries, like many brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are rich compounds call flavanoids. These chemicals help protect the delicate tissues of the eye and also support circulation to it.
Go for fruit and vegetables that are purple, red, green and orange. If it’s difficult to get plenty of fresh fruit and veg consider smoothies or even supplements.
There are plenty of eye-care support supplements out there. It’s best to get advice from a nutritionist or your GP and be especially careful if you are taking any blood thinning medications.
Eye support supplements are rarely available on the NHS but I believe they should be. So if you’ve found them helpful nag your GP!
Eating more colourful fruit and vegetables is good general advice but nutrition may hold the solution for individual eye health problems too. Here’s a quick checklist.
Cararacts Avoid sugar and the sweetener sorbitol. Check zinc and selenium levels
Dry Eyes Drink plenty of water and eat oily fish. Check for food intolerances.
Glaucoma Get plenty of magnesium from green vegetables, nuts, seeds and pulses and up your vitamin C intake.
Macular Degeneration Get plenty of purple foods in your diet. Check levels of the important minerals selenium, manganese and zinc.
Talking to a nutritionist might help to identify the most important areas for you to focus on. A good nutritionist will also help translate these recommendations into practical daily foods, drinks or supplements plus checking that none of the changes will interfere with any medications.
I firmly believe advancing years shouldn’t have to mean declining sight. Eye support supplements on the NHS, that’s my vision for the future.
Until they are available on the NHS then they can be found on Amazon and many other on line and retail outlets remembering to check with a GP before taking any supplements.