NUTRITION AND EYE HEALTH
By Maria Sonnenberg In 1826, French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, author of
“The Physiology of Taste,” famously noted to “tell me what you eat
and I will tell you what you are.” The phrase was later distilled into
“you are what you eat,” a true maxim indeed.
Proper nutrition fuels all parts of the body. Feed that engine poorly
and problems will surely arise, most definitely in the eyes, the complex,
astounding organ that requires a well-balanced diet to function
properly. In a 2019 study published by the National Library of Medicine,
authors John Lawrenson and Laura Downie note that “diet is a key
lifestyle factor that can have long-term effects on ocular health.”
Our eyes need a good arsenal of antioxidants to successfully fight
the bombardment of oxidation and free radicals they routinely
face. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that interferes with the very
nature of molecules; free radicals are the rogue molecules that
provoke that reaction.
While the body can handle some amount of free radicals, if it is
overwhelmed with free radicals because of lifestyle factors such as
poor diet, smoking and drinking, disease and inflammation can arise,
leading to serious visual issues such as cataracts, age-related macular
degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. High concentrations
of the unhealthy fats commonly found in nutritionally-barren fast or
processed foods can be devastating to the eyes
“Eyes are particularly susceptible to oxidative stress,” said ophthalmologist
Dr. Rafael Trespalacios of Tres Vision Group in Melbourne, Merritt
Island and Suntree.
Antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin have shown great promise
in reducing risk for chronic eye diseases such as cataracts.
“Both lutein and zeaxanthin lower risk for developing new cataracts,”
said Dr. Trespalacios.
Dark green leafy vegetables are major sources of these antioxidants, and
they are also abundant in fruits such as tangerines and in veggies such as
corn and peas, according to the American Optometric Association.
Left to right, Dr. William Riehl,
Rafael Trespalacios MD, Dr. Lauren Hansen.
24: SPACE COAST LIVING | SPACECOASTLIVING.COM
In addition to lutein and zeaxanthin, Vitamin C — found in everything
from oranges to tomatoes — can also help reduce cataract risks and may
slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. The Vitamin
E found in nuts and sweet potatoes can protect eyes from free radicals,
the unstable molecules that hurt health tissue. Essential fatty acids
abundant in cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna are equally critical
for eye health, since they promote proper retinal function, reducing
inflammation and encouraging necessary tear production. Zinc, a
mineral found in red meats, shellfish and nuts, has been linked with the
production of melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes.
Unfortunately, in today’s harried, hurried world, proper nutritional intake
too often takes a back seat to not-so-great food choices. Researchers
suggest that antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements offer a
valuable, cost-effective alternative for safeguarding vision.
As an extra measure of protection, Dr. Trespalacios recommends eye
health neutraceuticals such as EyePromise®, beneficial with age-related
eye health disorders, the leading cause of vision loss in individuals
over 55. Supplementing with EyePromise has been demonstrated to
improve patients’ eye health, increasing visual acuity by one-and-a-half
lines in an eye chart.
EyePromise® Zeaxanthin + Lutein, which offers the optimal combination
of essential nutrients for healthy vision, was created with dietary
ingredients in the amount necessary to build and support the eye’s natural
protection, and is perfect for people looking to add an eye-healthy
vitamin to their daily vitamin regimen, whether they are carnivores,
vegetarians or vegans.
“Because vision plays such a critical role in our quality of life, we need to
keep our eyes healthy by “feeding” them right, either through nutritional
intake or supplements,”
said Dr. Trespalacios.
For more information,
call 321-984-3200 or
321-984-3200 Melbourne | Suntree/Viera | Meritt Island www.TresVision.com