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Dr. Rani's Top 3 Food Picks To Prevent Macular Degeneration

Updated: Mar 8

Nutrition plays an essential role in preventing eye disease. Consuming a nutritious and well-balanced diet of eye-smart foods can help prevent diseases of the eye such as age-related macular degeneration (aka AMD), dry eye, and cataracts.

Here are the top 3 most nutrient-dense foods for preventing macular degeneration -

Woman of color, smiling, wearing hat buying leafy greens in outdoor market
Leafy greens, such as kale, are wonderful sources of nutrients for AMD prevention

1. Kale

Kale is arguably one of the most nutrient-dense foods on this planet. Kale is rich in many essential eye nutrients, as well as antioxidants.

Kale contains high levels of two of the macular carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. These plant-derived pigments serve as our eyes’ internal light filters, protecting against ultraviolet (UV) and blue light. In general, the darker the leafy green, the higher the lutein content. Among all vegetables, kale is known to have the highest lutein content, as well as high amounts of zeaxanthin.

Kale also is rich in vitamins A, C, and K and iron, all essential vitamins and minerals for healthy eye function.

Given its dense nutrient profile, kale is believed to not only reduce the risk of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, but also help prevent heart disease, lowers cholesterol levels, and promote detoxification.

Pistachios spread over a tablecloth
Pistachios are a rich source of macular carotenoids

2. Pistachios

Pistachios are another wonderful food for preventing macular degeneration. Pistachios are rich in carotenoids, which reduce the damage from free radicals, protecting against macular degeneration. Pistachios are particularly rich in zeaxanthin, a powerful pigment found in the macula, the center of the retina, which helps neutralize damaging rays.

Pistachios are also high in healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E. Vitamin E is believed to prevent many age-related eye diseases, not only AMD, but also cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

Blackberries in a basket, with frost
Blackberries provide anthocyanins that are potent antioxidants to fight AMD

3. Blackberries

Blackberries are rich in vitamin C, A, and K. They are also a wonderful source of fiber, which helps with digestion, and antioxidants such as anthocyanins, that help protect against free radicals. Consuming blackberries can also help improve motor and cognitive skills, boost immunity, and promote healthy vision.

Click HERE to learn more and watch my video on foods to help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Whether the practice of Rudrani Banik, MD is the first ophthalmology office you are visiting for eye treatment, or simply the last one, Dr. Banik will make sure she does everything in her power to find an effective treatment to help you see better using the best of traditional medical and surgical apporaches to eye care integrated with a holistic approach, founded in the science of eye-smart nutrition and lifestyle choices.

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