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Two Foods Naturally Prevent Macular Degeneration

By Chris Brown

Losing your eyesight, especially if it is degenerative and irreversible, can be a terrifying thought. The relatively common macular degeneration is one such eye disease affecting the center of the eye's field of vision. There are luckily a few foods to add to your diet today to reduce your risk of developing this debilitating condition in later years.

What Is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration creates mostly irreversible central vision loss and affects approximately eight percent of the population. It is caused when the part of the retina responsible for one's central vision thins, which reveals as blurring directly in front of the eyes. For those with only macular degeneration, peripheral vision remains unaffected. While surgery can be performed in extreme situations, as of now, there is no treatment to prevent further degeneration once the process has begun. As macular degeneration is likely caused by a number of factors, both hereditary and environmental, the best way to take control of the fight against macular degeneration is prevent it from occurring with lifestyle changes. Certain factors such as smoking and obesity are known to increase one's risk of developing macular degeneration. However, recent studies have also found two foods that can help prevent its occurrence.

Eye-Saving Lutein Foods

Lutein-rich foods, such as spinach, egg yolks, kale, grapes, zucchini, and squash, may help protect against macular degeneration. This is because the macula (the specific eye part that degrades in macular degeneration) utilizes lutein to filter harmful blue light and protect itself from free radicals. By filling the lutein stores in the body, the eye can protect itself naturally. However, as lutein is delicate, correct food preparation is important to maintaining its content. Boiling, for instance, can strip the food of much of its nutrients, including lutein. A Swedish team of researchers found that lutein become most bioavailable in baby spinach when it was liquified in smoothie form (eating it raw was second).

Orange You Glad You Can Save Your Eyesight with Citrus?

In a study of over 2,000 senior citizens in Australia, regular consumption of oranges correlated to a 60 percent lowered risk of age-related macular degeneration. It is believed that the inflammation-fighting flavonoids and high Vitamin-C content of oranges played a role in this result. Chronic inflammation lies behind many age-related diseases, including macular degeneration. Reducing daily inflammation is important for limiting its accumulative bodily effects. Consuming a daily intake of oranges is one way to help prevent a dangerous buildup of inflammatory issues that can hurt your eyesight in the long-run.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Harlingen, Tex.

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