Today’s Vision wants you to know that a healthy diet and other behavior choices may reduce your risk for serious eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in those over the age of 65. Cataracts are also afflicting aging Americans; nearly half of those age 65 and older already have them. The majority of cataracts are associated with the aging process and excessive exposure to the sun also contributes to cataracts.

Studies indicate that you can reduce your risk for these eye conditions by avoiding diets high in saturated and trans fat, and increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables (especially the yellow and leafy green variety).

Lutein and Zeaxanthin – these plant chemicals work as potent antioxidants that protect eyes from free radical damage. Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in lutein and zeaxanthin have been found to increase their concentration in the blood and in the eye. Unfortunately, the average American only consumes 1/6 of the amount recommended to prevent eye disease. The good news is that these nutrients are abundant in foods such as:

• Kale, Collard Greens, and Spinach
• Brussels Sprouts
• Egg yolks
• Corn
• Avocado
• Pistachios
• Goji berries
• Orange peppers
• Kiwi
• Grapes
• Orange juice
• Squash (zucchini)