Is it possible to reverse macular degeneration naturally? If you want to prevent common eye problems like macular degeneration and cataracts in the future, there are some changes to your diet you can implement today. While it may not be possible to fully reverse cataracts with nutrients alone, there are dietary steps you can take to prevent and slow the progress of eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration.
#1: Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins for cataracts. Vitamin C can prevent cataracts from getting worse. How does this work? Let’s start by discussing what causes cataracts. One of the biggest suspects is free radicals which cause oxidation and accelerate aging. Vitamin C acts as a free radical scavenger to counteract the oxidation from free radicals in your body. Add oranges and strawberries to your grocery shopping list.
#2: Vitamin E
One of your best allies in the fight against Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is vitamin E. Vitamin E slows the progression of macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts. The FDA suggests adult men and women get 22 IU of vitamin E every day. You can find vitamin E in almonds, peanuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, spinach, and sweet potatoes. If you have a low-fat diet, you may have a harder time reaching your suggested daily amount of vitamin E. Talk to your doctor about a vitamin regimen to supplement your diet.
#3 & #4: Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin work in tandem with vitamin E to fight macular degeneration and cataracts. These are both carotenoids that act as antioxidants to fight oxidation. Other carotenoids include beta-carotene and lycopene. Incorporate lutein and zeaxanthin in your diet by adding leafy greens to your grocery shopping list.
Even if you are not trying to reverse macular degeneration naturally or prevent cataracts, adding these carotenoids can improve your eye health. These carotenoids protect your eyes from damages caused by harmful UV rays and blue light.
#5: Vitamin A
In the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), researchers found vitamin A to be beneficial for preventing vision loss from AMD, when taken with other antioxidants. Vitamin A is also important for the surface of your eye and reduces the risk of eye infections. You can find vitamin A in carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale.
Another free radical scavenger that prevents cataracts from getting worse is glutathione. Glutathione (GSH) is one of the best antioxidants for not just your eyes but your overall health. What foods are sources of GSH? You can find GSH in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower. You can increase your glutathione intake with whey protein or milk thistle as well.
Zinc is great for preventing macular degeneration. You can find zinc in egg yolks, turkey, red meat, seafood, and beans. A study by the National Eye Institute found that people with a high risk of AMD could slow the progression of the disease by 25% and even slow down vision loss by 19% if they took between 40 and 80 mg of zinc each day along with a few antioxidants.
A Balanced Diet
There are so many different nutrients to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, but the best approach is to incorporate a combination of these nutrients into your diet to see a difference. You can add so many of these vitamins and nutrients into your diet naturally, but supplements are also an option. Talk to your primary care doctor before making any extreme changes in your diet or vitamin routine.
You can also lower your risk for macular degeneration and cataracts by reducing your intake of saturated fat. Another lifestyle change that can help is quitting smoking. Take this time to think about what to add to your lifestyle and what to subtract in order to promote eye health.
Talk to Your Eye Doctor
Talk with your eye doctor about what you can do to lower your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Part of that prevention plan includes regular eye exams with your optometrist. Talk to your doctor about your prevention and treatment options at your next eye exam.
A change in your daily diet may not be enough to halt the vision loss related to these eye problems, but your eye doctor can walk you through what steps you can take. Ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist if medicated eye drops can also help you in the fight against cataracts.
At Black Rock Vision Center, we use top of the line technology to detect and diagnose eye problems earlier than ever. At our medical optometry practice, you can rest easy knowing you are receiving care of the highest standard. Contact us to schedule an eye exam and learn about your macular degeneration risk factors today.