Can My Diet Affect My Vision? Ask A Nutritionist. July 15, 2020

Getting older means it’s even more important to protect your vision – with food.

As you get older, especially after the age of 65, the rate of eye related diseases nearly triples. That’s why it is so important to take care of your eyes and protect your vision. Good nutrition can help.

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss in older people. The chances of getting AMD increases the older you get, especially if you are Black or Latino. Genetics can play a role. But your lifestyle can help lower your risk for AMD. Regular physical activity, healthy eating, and quitting smoking are important habits for the health of your eyes.

Dark leafy greens and green vegetables contain nutrients that can protect eye health. Nutrients in green tea have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and glaucoma. Eating more sources of vitamin A (carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, peppers), vitamin C (strawberries, oranges, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) and vitamin E (almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower oil) may help protect your eyesight as well.

So eat your fruits and vegetables! Try to get 5 servings a day to help lower your chances of getting vision problems as you get older.

Joanne M. Gallivan, M.S., R.D.N. is a registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She served as the Director of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) in the Office of Communication and Public Liaison for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1997-2016.  Previously, Ms. Gallivan has served as project manager for NIDDK’s Weight-Control Information Network (WIN), a national source of information on weight control, obesity, and weight-related nutritional disorders for health professionals and the public; as Contract Manager for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s National Cholesterol Education Program and Obesity Education Initiative, and as Director of the Prince George’s County Health Department Nutrition Division located in Maryland.

Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is a free clinic in Charleston, SC, that provides free medical care to eligible patients, just like any family practitioner or internist. The Free Clinic serves uninsured adults living at or below 299 % of the Federal poverty level who live or work on Johns, James, & Wadmalaw Island or Folly Beach, or serve the Hospitality Industry of Downtown Charleston. You can follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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