The bright sun slowly moved across the skylight, signaling Annie and LJ the dawn of another beautiful day in the Bay. Annie sleepily reached for her glasses, a habit that started in childhood. With them on, she could see the glass of water on the nightstand. After drinking it, she started the morning routine beginning with meditation.
An hour later, in the kitchen, she found LJ making breakfast. He looked at her thoughtfully, “Annie, I’m wondering about your eyesight? I saw the report from your ophthalmologist and the eye vitamins you’re starting to take. Let’s talk about what’s going on.”
She hugged him, “thanks for being so considerate. It appears I am developing some vision challenges. Some of which are due to aging, so I’m making some changes specifically to protect my eyes. I ordered sunglasses with a UV 400 rating, the highest protection recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Another change is eating meals that support healthy vision. Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in the Western World. Research shows it can be delayed and even averted with the right food.”
LJ sat down with a notepad, “tell me what I need to buy and or grow.”
“Ok. Humans cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all needed for healthy eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients important for eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids (found in the cells of plants) known to improve and even prevent age-related macular disease. Carotenoids are the pigment that gives many fruits and vegetables their deep, bright color. Goji berries, for example, have 60 times more zeaxanthin than eggs. Corn also has lutein and zeaxanthin, which help reduce retinal light damage. Vitamin E in Spinach slows the development of cataracts. And its dark green color indicates the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin. The Omega-3 Fatty Acids found in salmon, soybeans, cod liver oil effectively treat dry eyes and help prevent retinopathy. Avocados are rich in vitamins A & E as well as lutein and zeaxanthin. And their good fat helps the body better absorb vitamin A, known to protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Chia Seeds are high in calcium and have more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, nutrients that help reduce oxidative damage to the cornea and retina.”
“Is there evidence that proves a certain diet can support healthy eyes?”
Annie nodded, “Certain eye diseases are not curable; however, research consistently proves a diet of fruits, vegetables, and protein-containing lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids substantially increase eye pigment, which helps protect vision. As a part of my contribution to support vision, I wrote a Seven Days of Breakfast for Healthy Eyes, a cookbook that’s available at healthyhealingeats.com. No matter your age, we should all be eating with our eyes first.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.