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Old 04-30-2008, 11:29 AM
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Default Six Foods that Support Eye Health

The following foods will not only help to nourish and support your eyes as you age, but many of them can also help to reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration -- the world's leading cause of blindness.

1. Egg Yolks

Egg yolks are the best source of lutein, a yellow-hued antioxidant. One of lutein's most talked about qualities is its ability to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.

Lutein (along with zeaxanthin, another carotenoid) forms the yellow pigment of your retina and absorbs blue light, a harmful component of sunlight, says Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. Researchers also suspect that lutein's antioxidant actions help to protect your eyes from light-induced oxidative damage.

Lutein is also found in vegetables, especially green leafy ones, but when 10 volunteers ate different sources of lutein (spinach, eggs or one of two types of lutein supplements) eggs came out on top. Those who ate eggs as their lutein source had blood levels of lutein that were about three times higher than that of those who ate other lutein sources.

The researchers suspect that other components in the egg yolk, such as lecithin, are responsible for its superior absorbability.

2. Brazil Nuts

One Brazil nut contains 120 mcg of selenium, which is about twice the Recommended Daily Allowance. Why is this a good thing? Because selenium's antioxidant activity fights free radicals that may damage your eye's lens and macula at the center of your retina. This may help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

3. Blueberries (and Other Berries)

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that give fruits their red and purple color. Because of this, blueberries can help to prevent age-related damage and improve blood flow to your eyes. Anthocyanins also strengthen blood vessel walls, which can slow the development of diabetic retinopathy.

Aside from blueberries, cherries, red grape, pomegranates, red cabbage, and beets also contain high levels of anthocyanins.

4. Salmon

Salmon and other oily fish like sardines, herring, and black cod are rich in omega-3 fats. A study from Harvard Medical School found that people who eat fish twice a week while avoiding unhealthy fats like trans fats have less than half the risk of developing macular degeneration as people who do neither. Meanwhile, omega-3 fats help protect light-sensing cells and are linked to a lower risk of cataracts.

When eating fish, be careful to choose wild, low-mercury varieties. As an alternative, you can take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 supplement, such as fish oil.

5. Papaya

One serving of papaya will give you close to a three-day supply of vitamin C, which is one reason why papaya has been found to protect against macular degeneration. According to a 2001 study by the National Institutes of Health, people with macular degeneration could slow the disease by getting 500 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, and 80 mg of zinc every day.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound that's also a powerful antioxidant. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, human retinal cells treated with sulforaphane were protected from oxidizing free radicals for several days.

Not a fan of broccoli? Don't worry, other cruciferous veggies like cabbage, kale, mustard greens and turnips are also rich in sulforaphane.

note: To this list, at a minimum, I'd add avocado and spinach to the list. Lycopene, most commonly found in tomatoes, is also very beneficial for the eyes.

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Old 04-30-2008, 03:41 PM
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Kale is also another source of Lutein, as far as I'm aware.

The Egg Yolk Lutein content I think is about 1mg, of the possible daily max ingestion of about 4mg, although I don't think the body actually requires any Lutein at all, despite not producing it.

I'm almost certain any Carotenoid sources, are not required by the body despite their benefits, as opposed to things like Essential Aminos, Vit C etc etc that aren't produced but are needed.

The problem that report doesn't mention with Egg Yolks though, is one Yolk contains approximately 40% LDL Cholesterol, and about 60% HDL Cholesterol, so the LDL risk is something I consider noteworthy, and if Egg Yolks come up in conversation on sites like this, I like to advocate one Yolk a day, as I like the idea of things like Lutein, Fat Soluable Vits etc etc, but not the large ingestion of LDL.

I think eating more than one Yolk daily, may increase the LDL risk, and therefore detract from the other Yolk benefits.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:17 PM
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I really must diversify my food intake - I'm only commonly eating eggs off that list. I often tend to get stuck in routines with meals, and end up eating a narrow range of foods...
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:02 PM
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Good article Harry. I'll have to try Brazil nuts again. Didn't like them much when I was younger, but perhaps I'll like them now.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:04 PM
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Good article Harry. I'll have to try Brazil nuts again. Didn't like them much when I was younger, but perhaps I'll like them now.

edit: Sorry for the double post. The first post didn't appear to have gone through.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:59 PM
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This is an excellent list. For people who are truly concerned about developing macular degeneration than it would be wise to consume extremely large quantities of Lutein. Kale is highest of all food sources. If you dont care to eat large amounts of Kale you can add it to a juice with apples and carrots and the flavor will be perfectly fine.
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