As an eyecare professional, you’re the front line of defense to help your patients maintain healthy vision. Other than providing comprehensive eye exams and counsel when problems occur, you can also educate your patients on the benefits of eating foods high in nutrients. While patients can also take supplements for vital vitamins and minerals, gaining nutrients from food sources is inherently better for them.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress that contributes to conditions, such as AMD and cataracts. Some particular nutrients that contain these powerful antioxidants include lutein, zeaxanthan, vitamins A, C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene and zinc. The following are some examples you can suggest to your patients:
- **Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, contain lutein and zeaxanthan to help protect against environmental damage, such as cigarette smoke, sunlight exposure and air pollution. They can also significantly reduce the development of age-related vision degeneration.
- **Eating half a cup of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C every day, such as grapefruit, brussels sprouts and strawberries, can act as a powerful source of antioxidants.
- **Vitamin E is found in wheat germ, nuts and seeds. Most people don’t get enough natural vitamin E in their diets.
- **For optimal retinal health, patients should increase their zinc intake, which is found in oysters, crab, turkey and eggs. For vegetarians or vegans, you can suggest whole grains and peanuts.
- **To aid circulation and heart health, patients need ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. These are found in food items, such as salmon, herring and sardines. Other sources include tuna and other cold-water fish.
As your partner in providing optimal eye health care to your patients, Optos would like to remind you of the benefits of ultra-widefield retinal imaging for use in early detection and diagnosis of age-related conditions, such as cataracts and AMD. Contact us to learn more about how partnering with us can improve both your practice and your bottom line.