Are you looking forward to a New Year... but notice that your eyes aren’t as good as they used to be? Is it getting harder to read the fine print? We can slow eye deterioration by wearing sunglasses with UV protection (all year long), giving the eyes frequent rests from the computer/TV/phone screen, getting enough sleep (for cellular repair) and including more antioxidants and DHA (from fish oil or vegan algae).
Eye disorders involve the production of free radicals. Ultraviolet and blue-violet sun rays promote the production of free radicals as do AGE products (Advanced Gylcation End products) which are formed due to excess sugar in the body and cause damage and inflammation. AGEs have been implicated in vision loss associated with macular degeneration, cataract formation, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Eating a whole foods diet and avoiding refined sugars is crucial for eye health. When we eat “from the rainbow”, the colourful foods like blueberries contain flavonoids (called anthocyanidins), which are potent antioxidants and powerful free radical scavengers. Supplemental Bilberry has been shown to be very effective in improving night vision and faster restoration of vision after exposure to glare.
Of all the carotenoids (found in green, orange and red foods), lutein is preferred for eye health. It is naturally present in the macula and the lens of the eye where it prevents photo-oxidation. Lutein and zeaxanthin are strongly associated with a reduced risk for age related macular degeneration (AMD). Regularly consuming lutein rich foods like cooked spinach and cooked kale could reduce the incidence of cataracts by up to 50 percent!
When we consume whole foods and minimize processed foods – especially refined sugars, we are better able to maintain a healthy blood sugar balance and thus minimize the process of glycation. Glycation isn’t just harmful to our vision but can also be a factor in many degenerative diseases like diabetes, atherosclerosis, chronic kidney disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sometimes it’s hard to get back on track after the Holidays so doing a whole body cleanse is a great place to start to help us make healthier choices as we move forward in 2020. If you have a sweet tooth, increasing protein and good fats can help reduce cravings. Taking a good probiotic and anti-fungal supplement can help to reduce Candida which helps to further reduce cravings and inflammation in the gut.
When grocery shopping, remember to look at labels and read the fine print to see just how much actual sugar is in the product and buy lots of colourful fruits and vegetables to protect your eyes. Don’t look back. Look ahead. Visualize your best self. See the possibilities... with your 2020 vision. Happy New Year!