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Macular degeneration is a serious eye condition that is one of the leading causes of eye problems, decreased quality of vision and blindness. Macular degeneration often strikes older people but it can occur at any age. Regardless of whether or not your wear designer eyeglasses, cheap prescription glasses or no eyeglasses at all, macular degeneration is an issue you need to be aware of and take steps to avoid.

Macular degeneration, as the name denotes, involves the degeneration of the macular part of the eye. The macula is the part of the eye that handles center vision. This means that when the macular is compromised, vision in the center part of the eye is negatively impacted. However, the amount of vision and the rate at which vision is lost does vary significantly. [1]

Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean that you are destined for macular degeneration. Studies have shown that eating a healthy diet that has the right kind of foods in it can dramatically decrease your chances of developing macular degeneration as well as a host of other diseases as well. In this article we will examine the key dietary choices you should make as well as key supplements you should take to help reduce your chances of macular degeneration.

Photo Source: harvardvanguard.org

The Numerous Benefits of an Omega-3 Rich Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous health benefits. Countless studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids improve heart and brain health. In particular, omega-3 has been shown to improve memory and brain performance and may even work to delay or even prevent degenerative brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease.

Omega-3 rich foods have also been shown to be good for your eyes as well. A key factor behind omega-3′s benefits is that it can effectively fight inflammation. Some studies have shown that it can also prevent macular degeneration. [2]

Seafood is amongst the best omega-3 rich foods. Particularly rich omega-3 options include sardines, wild Alaskan salmon, and sablefish or black cod. These fish are very high in omega-3, which has been shown to be good for the heart, the brain and the eyes.

Of all of these fish options, it is arguable that sardines stand out as the best overall options. Sardines are quite high in omega-3 fatty acids, low in fat and are also low on the food chain, meaning that there is less heavy metal contamination risk than with other seafood alternatives. Health conscious people should find sardines to be a particularly attractive addition to their diets.

Not all omega-3 is found in fish. Other sources include flax and flax oil as well as walnuts. Walnuts are a very healthy choice in that they are also very high in minerals and have anti-cancer properties. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli have all been shown to have the ability to help overall eye health and may play a role in preventing macular degeneration. This is due to the fact that they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are key for overall eye health. [3]

Sources:
1. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts.asp
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16815401
3. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=99

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