(NaturalNews) Vision is one of the most sophisticated feats of creation. The ability to transmit photo rays and create pictures of reality is such an incredible process that most talented scientists do not completely understand it. Unfortunately, vision problems are one of the fastest growing functional health deficits in the world. Fortunately, natural lifestyle solutions can help prevent and reverse many of today`s vision problems.
The eyes are especially susceptible to lifestyle and environmental stressors that play a very big role in functional eye deficits such as cataracts, glaucoma, and blurry vision. The eyes have a higher level of oxidative stress and free radical activity than any other organ. Certain lifestyle habits such as excessive time in the sun, smoking, heavy toxic exposure, poor diet, & nutritional deficiencies increase oxidative stress and accelerate the degenerative processes of the eye.
One of the most common causes for poor vision in industrialized countries is due to heavy intake of sugar, grains, & processed foods. All of these foods increase our blood sugar and insulin levels. Continually eating these foods depletes the body of critical trace minerals, B vitamins, and anti-oxidants while creating an insulin resistant state on the cell membranes.
When blood sugar stays elevated for too long, it interacts with enzymes and other protein molecules and creates dangerous substances called Advanced Glycolytic End Products (AGE`s). AGE`s are highly inflammatory and destructive as they damage tissue throughout the body including nerve fibers and blood vessels. One of the most sensitive regions for AGE related damage is the optic nerve, macula lutea & retinal regions of the eye.
Prevention and reversal of functional and degenerative vision/eye problems depends on our ability to reduce inflammation and enhance cellular healing processes. This begins with a diet rich in phytonutrient dense vegetables, healthy fat and clean protein sources. Non-starchy vegetables and anti-oxidant rich herbs are the best sources for critical eye enhancing phytonutrients. Healthy fat sources include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, nuts, & seeds. Healthy protein includes wild-caught fish, grass-fed red meat and free range chicken, turkey and eggs.
Carotenoids are special phytonutrients that densely populate the eye tissue and function as anti-oxidants, neutralizing free radical damage created by lifestyle stressors and unavoidable factors such as sunlight. Carotenoids also act as filters to protect the eye from blue light, which is naturally found in sunlight.
Carotenoids are found in leafy greens, kiwi and red, orange, and yellow fruits & vegetables. Beta carotene is one important carotenoid that is found in carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, & sweet potatoes. Other carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, gamma carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin all help produce vitamin A retinal. Retinal is the critical anti-oxidant in the eye tissue.
Lycopene is another carotenoid that is found in red fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, red bell peppers, watermelons, grapefruit, & papayas. Although lycopene does not have vitamin A activity, higher consumption of this great nutrient has been linked with lower risk of macular degeneration.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are very powerful carotenoid antioxidants that act to directly absorb and neutralize near ultra-violet light and protect the macula lutea. The richest source of these two super-nutrients is egg yolk from a free range chicken that had a nutrient dense diet. They are also found in many fresh, raw vegetables.
The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA are very critical for healthy vision and eye function. The best source of EPA & DHA is through purified fish or krill oil. The brand should be molecularly distilled and 3rd party tested for purity. Anyone with vision problems should look to take a minimum of 1.5 g/daily of EPA/DHA.
About the author
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com