One of the biggest fears of aging is losing our eyesight. And one of the most common ways that happens is in the form of glaucoma, a type of eye disease that involves damage to the optic nerve. While there's currently no cure for glaucoma, there are a number of ways to slow or stop its progression if you do get it. And these same methods can help you avoid getting it in the first place.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, the beginning steps for preventing and slowing the progression of glaucoma focus heavily on lifestyle factors, particularly eating a healthy diet.
While exercising and getting adequate rest are important, ensuring that you're getting sufficient vitamins and minerals to support your eye health is essential to helping you avoid glaucoma. In particular, you should be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables so that you consume a lot of carotenoids, vitamin A, and vitamin C. If your mother ever told you that carrots were good for your vision, she was right. But carrots aren't all you should eat. Leafy greens, such as collards, cabbage, kale, and spinach, are particularly beneficial. And Brussels sprouts, celery, parsley, peaches, radishes, green beans, beets, and beet leaves are all protective for your eyes.
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Much of the damage to the optic nerve in glaucoma is due to oxidative stress. For this reason, you want to be sure to consume plenty of antioxidants to mop up free radicals before they cause harm. Pomegranates, dark chocolate (in moderation!), black and green tea, foods high in resveratrol and lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes are all beneficial if you're specifically trying to protect your eyes.
The focus of these recommendations shows just how important nutrients are for your eye health. If you're concerned you aren't getting everything you need from your diet, a multivitamin can help fill in the gaps. Many eye doctors recommend that you take one to provide an extra layer of protection, though this shouldn't take the place of a well-rounded, antioxidant-rich diet.
Maintaining healthy eyesight is vital to our quality of life as we age. Fortunately, the healthy habits that protect our optic nerves will also do plenty of good for the rest of our bodies too. Make sure you're looking for a variety of vitamin and antioxidant rich foods when you're at the grocery store. For added protection against glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts, make sure you're taking an eye supplement, such as Advanced Vision Formula.