Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common occurrence for those over the age of 50, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to prevent it. In fact, your diet plays a large role in age-related macular degeneration progression and development, so eating the right foods can help you enjoy a clear view for many years to come.
Age-related macular degeneration is a condition that progresses with age. It begins to affect people over the age of 40 by hindering central vision, which is used for activities such as reading and driving. When central vision begins to deteriorate, completing daily tasks becomes quite difficult.
AMD affects the macula, the central part of the retina, which allows us to see the fine details. AMD can come in two forms: wet and dry.
Here we will outline the role of nutrition in your eye health and share some diet tips to better help you ward off age-related macular degeneration.
Role of Nutrition in Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Studies have shown that nutritious foods offer the best defense against age-related macular degeneration. This means you need to eat the right foods in order to feed your eyes the nutrients they need.
Foods contain minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that keep your eyes well nourished and support their proper function. Stocking up on the right foods can then be a natural remedy for keeping your eyes sharp and either preventing or slowing down the progression of AMD.
Diet for Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Here are some diet tips for age-related macular degeneration prevention.
- Eat plenty of dark, leafy greens.
- Take a multivitamin as advised by your doctor
- Eat more fish
- Eat fruits and nuts daily
- Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates
- Limit your fat intake
Here is a list of specific foods you can incorporate into your AMD prevention diet.
- Collard greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Green peas
- Swiss chard
- Sunflower seeds
- Wheat germ
- Whole wheat flour
These foods will equip your eyes with the nutrients they need to maintain healthy vision.
Food and Recipes for AMD Prevention
Servings: Makes 4
Pumpkin isn’t just for sweets. This healthy recipe turns pumpkin into a one-pot savory dinner dish. You can also use this healthy recipe to incorporate other seasonal foods into your menu, substituting some (or all) of the pumpkin with butternut squash, other squashes, or yams.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds pumpkin, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 3 tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pumpkin and onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about seven minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, curry, and broth. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice.
Superfood Kale Smoothie
A smoothie is a simple and easy way to get lots of nutrition. Here, kale joins superfood friends (blueberries, avocado, and flax) to fuel you in an incredibly delicious way. Have this smoothie at breakfast or anytime you need a simple and easy meal replacement.
For a delicious, nutritious, energizing green kale smoothie, throw the following into a high-speed blender:
- ½ cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 cup frozen, unsweetened blueberries
- 1 ½ cups pure coconut water
- 1 ½ cups fresh kale leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 of a medium avocado
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Creamy Carrot Soup
Puréed carrots give this soup body, so you don’t actually need any milk or cream to make this dish smooth and filling. The ginger, coriander, and lime juice in this healthy recipe enrich this soup with unique and mouth-watering flavor.
- 1 ½ pounds carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- zest and juice of one lime
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the carrots, onion, coriander, and ginger, and cook until the onion softens. Top with the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for about 30 to 40 minutes – until the carrots are soft. Add the lime zest and juice. Purée the soup – in batches – in a food processor or blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.
Tips to Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Other tips to prevent age-related macular degeneration include quitting smoking, exercising regularly, controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, wearing sunglasses especially those that offer UV and blue light protection, and going for an eye exam annually to spot any changes to your vision.
Sticking to an AMD prevention diet along and following these tips can help you better prevent age-related macular degeneration which does not have to be an inevitable part of getting older.