Age Related Macular degeneration: we all know someone who has it but how do we stop it from affecting our quality of life.
In Australia, AMD is the leading cause of blindness. It tends to affect people older than 50 but sometimes younger people can get macular degeneration too.
There are many risk factors such as family history and age which we can't control, and smoking which we definitely can.
Many studies have shown that a diet high in green leafy vegetables, oily fish like mackerel or salmon, and plenty of nuts and fruit every day can help prevent macular degeneration.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are hardly household names, but these are vital for eye health. They are found in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, and in lesser amounts in peas, broccoli, pumpkin and beans.
It's important to chat to your family doctor before making marked changes to your diet because it can affect drug levels of such things as Warfarin and other blood thinners.
Omega 3 vitamins are also important for eye health. They are found in all seafood but in particular oily fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout and tuna. For optimum effect, eat seafood 3 times a week, either fresh, frozen or canned.
Other eye health positive are vitamin C (citrus fruits), zinc (oysters, seafood and nuts), selenium (brazil nuts).
There is good evidence now, that a low GI diet is helpful in improving macular health. Low GI foods are digested more slowly, and release energy more gradually,reducing fluctuations in blood sugar and are generally recomended to reduced obesity, heart disease and improve diabetic control.