Even though eyesight can change with age, vision problems and eye diseases are not inevitable. Proper dietary decisions can help maintain good vision later in life. Some foods in particular contain powerful antioxidants and other nutrients capable of fighting age-related macular degeneration. Here are four healthy foods that can help prevent vision problems in your senior loved one, recommended by the staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care in Warren.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach and kale get their dark green color from antioxidant plant pigments called carotenoids. Two powerful carotenoids found in these plants, lutein and zeaxanthin, protect eyes from free radicals that can cause damage to cells in the eyes and absorb blue light, which is especially harmful to the retina. These nutrients can also help the eye detect contrast better.
Egg yolks also contain zeaxanthin and lutein, as well as zinc, a mineral shown to prevent macular degeneration. The body is able to absorb lutein even better from eggs than from leafy vegetables. Eggs supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids are also a good choice to help boost your loved one’s vision.
Carrots are full of vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining healthy vision, and is especially helpful to the retina. If your loved one doesn’t like carrots, have him or her try other orange and yellow vegetables such as squash, as these also contain plenty of vitamin A.
Salmon, tuna, sardines, and other cold-water fatty fish are high in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that can boost retina cell health. People who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids are 40 percent less likely to develop advanced macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 65. Fish oil supplements are also an option.
Protected vision is not the only benefit offered by maintaining a healthy diet, but making even the smallest lifestyle changes can sometimes be challenging without assistance. If you are not always available to help your loved one with his or her dietary needs, you may want to consider professional caregiving services. For live-in and hourly care Warren families trust, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can go grocery shopping for vision-boosting foodsand even prepare healthy meals, working around a flexible schedule to best suit your loved one. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 908.450.9400. We hope to hear from you soon.