March is the American Dietetic Association’s National Nutrition Month.
This year, the theme is “Eat Right with Color.” That seems particularly fitting since seeing color is one of the things we value most about our eyes. The colors of the foods we eat – we are specifically talking about fruits and vegetables here – are often indicative of the nutrients they will deliver.
Check out the ADA’s guide for what colors indicate what great health benefits.
What’s an optometrist’s favorite color? Blue.
Bilberry (a cousin of the blueberry) is the ultimate eye food, mainly because it contains carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants. Getting your does of blue foods will help anyone concerned about Poor Night Vision, Glaucoma, Myopia , Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy , Cataracts , or Computer Eye Syndrome.
Learn about how to prevent and treat diabetes naturally at our website.
Also, get the facts about the related condition, diabetic retinopathy.
image via medline plus
Celiac disease (also called gluten-induced enteropathy) is an intestinal disorder that results from intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Eating gluten containing foods damages the small intestine and makes it impossible for sufferers to absorb nutrients properly, including vitamin A, which the eyes need to function in low light conditions.
Celiac disease may not cause symptoms in some people. However, people with the condition may report history of frequent, loose, watery stools; pale, foul-smelling, bulky stools; abdominal pain, gas and bloating; weight loss; fatigue; canker sores; muscle cramps; delayed growth or short stature; bone and joint pain; seizures; painful skin rash; and infertility. In addition to physical symptoms, there may be emotional disturbances including feelings of anxiety and depression.
Celiac disease can also cause nightblindness. Trouble in the intestinal tract can mean the body does not absorb enough essential vitamin A (a key component of beta-carotene and the reason your mom told you that carrots would help you eye sight). Therapeutic doses of vitamin A can help correct the problem. The best form of vitamin A is known as palmitate, taken in a daily dose of 15,000 international units.
Learn more about natural treatments for celiac disease.
Night blindness can also be caused by other factors. Learn more at our website.
Sometimes those bits of wisdom that “everybody knows” just have to be true. In this case, yes, carrots really are good for your eyes.
A report at the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) – Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) Joint Meeting described how beta carotene can help people with retinitis pigmentosa.
Image via maine.gov
Retinitis pigmentosa is a hereditary disease most often marked by the onset of nightblindness during childhood that eventually leads to a loss of peripheral and eventually in many cases blindness. Previous research has shown beta carotene, 9-cis, can help treat night blindness. In this study, one third of the retinitis pigmentosa patients under observation showed improved visual function after taking a beta carotene supplement for 90 days. Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/204979.php
Learn more about other natural therapies for retinitis pigmentosa at our website.
For further information on how the nutrients in food can help eye health and overall health, check out this page.
Image by Microsoft
Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in the U.S., but it affects many people in the developing world. One of first symptoms of a vitamin A deficiency is night blindness, which, if untreated can develop into full scale blindness. According to the World Health Organization Report on Vitamin A Deficiency, night blindness is estimated to affect 5.2 million preschool-age children and 9.8 million pregnant women around the globe.
Writing on a recent case in The Lancet, doctors who treated a pregnant woman who came to the emergency room after several weeks of progressive sight loss described this particular case, “Vitamin A deficiency can be secondary to poor intestinal absorption due to weight loss surgery, Crohn’s disease or pancreatic dysfunction. Our patient had anorexia nervosa and had limited her diet to white onions, white potatoes, and red meat for the past 7 years.”
We usually recommend taking vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A with a small amount of fat in the diet. Food sources of vitamin A include: yellow and orange vegetables (including yams, carrots, mangoes, cantaloupe, apricots, butternut squash,and sweet potatoes), and asparagus, spinach, kale, bok choy. If you wish for additional supplementation, the recommended dose is approximately 15,000 to 25,000 I.U. of beta-carotene daily.
Learn more about food as sources of vital nutrients at our website.