By now everyone knows that eating leafy greens is a healthy practice that can boost our vitality, protect us from disease and promote weight loss. But did you know that eating them can protect your vision?Research strongly suggests that including leafy greens in the diet may decrease the risk of Macular Degeneration, a common age-related loss of vision due to deterioration of the retina. As we already know, antioxidants fight free-radicals and damage from oxygen at the cellular level.
THE EYES HAVE IT – ANOTHER REASON TO EAT YOUR VEGETABLES
According to experts, adding more antioxidant-rich foods such as leafy greens to your diet is the number one preventative action that you can take today to prevent or delay the onset of macular degeneration. While factors like genetics and aging may be beyond our control, the good news is that research has shown that there is much we can do to take charge of our own health to prevent or significantly delay the onset of the disease.
Eat a low-fat diet. Try to consume a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Take supplements. According to the National Eye Institutes’ Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) a regimen of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant supplements can reduce the risk of disease progression by as much as 25%.
Wear sunglasses. Lenses should screen out 99% – 100% off UVA and UVB rays.
Don’t smoke. A significant risk factor, research has shown that smokers have a risk of developing Macular Degeneration that is two to three times higher than that of non-smokers.
Treat other existing medical conditions. Other possible risk factors are hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity, which are at least partially controllable with treatment.
It is important to schedule regular eye examinations every two to four years; annually if you have a family history of eye disease. Call your doctor if you notice changes in your eyesight, particularly a blurry or blind spot in the center of your vision line. As is so often the case with illness, early detection and quick action are the keys to prevention or successful treatment.
This is yet more wonderful news that we can be active participants in managing our own health. As research teaches us more about disease and prevention, the evidence is clear and mounting. Study after study has shown that when a patient is enrolled in the possibility of actually creating his or her own personal wellness, disease can be averted and vitality can flourish.