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Superfoods for Better Eyesight -- Issue #29
August 25, 2012
IN THIS ISSUE:
Superfoods for Better EyesightAre you one of the millions who suffer from poor eyesight, distorted vision, or difficulty seeing objects close or from a distance? Many people today assume that a decline in eyesight is an unavoidable part of the aging process. And yes, we would agree that as we age eye problems and blurred vision are a more common occurrence.
This is because of both external and internal impacts that impede eye health overtime. But it is certainly not impossible to keep your eyes healthy and functioning at their best throughout your lifetime. Here we will discuss two major things to consider with regard to keeping your eyes superhealthy.
Two Major Factors:
1) External Factors that Impact Eyesight
The major external causes of impaired ability to see include: eye allergens in the air around us, spending many hours looking at a computer screen and the effects of light-induced oxidative damage. All of these factors cause a depletion of 2 key nutrients used by the eyes (especially as we get older). These superfood nutrients for the eyes are two main compounds, called zeaxanthin (zee-ah-ZAN-thin) and lutein (LOO-teen).
These two ingredients help strengthen eye tissue and protect the macula, retina, and lens. In addition, they have also been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. They can be found in many foods which we discuss below. It is therefore important for improved vision that we feed and maintain the eyes with these key nutrients.
2) Internal Factors that Impact Eyesight
In the system of Traditional Chinese Medicine, eye health is directly linked to the overall condition of the liver organ. When the liver is compromised its naturally tendency is to overheat. This heat often rises up to the eyes causing symptoms like irritated, inflamed or blood shot eyes, which in turn can affect our eyesight, causing blurred vision and "dry eyes".
The relationship between the eyes and the liver is based on the Five Element Theory where it is understood that the eyes are the opening of the liver system. Therefore, in Chinese medicine, strategies to restore the liver consequently also improve eye health.
An acidic diet can cause liver heat, but also as we age the liver organ naturally declines, especially if we have not assisted it in the detoxification process through some kind of fasting at some point in our lives.
We list below some herbs and foods that help to cool and clear liver stagnation and heat, which further promotes improvements in overall vision.
Top Superfoods for the Eyes1) Chrysanthemum Flower - Also called Ju hua, is used to relieve heat conditions and cool the body. It is specifically used for the eyes to help clear irritation, blurry vision and redness. Powdered extracts are the most potent forms used. (See our Products section below.)
2) Goji Berries - The lycium fruit is a blood and liver tonic which also contains carotenoids, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and lutein. Goji's are an antioxidant rich food source.
3) Green Foods - Raw green leafy vegetables, sprouts and plant algaes are packed with both lutein and zeaxanthin. Chlorophyll rich liquids, like wheatgrass or green juices, are a great way to get the lutein and zeaxanthin rich nutrients that these green foods offer.
4) Schizandra - A major Chinese adaptogen known for it's effects at "moistening the tissues" and protecting against the damaging effects of too much sun. It is also a liver herb and blood purifier that helps to increase and strengthen the eyesight.
5) Omega 3's - It is important to make sure you have adequate amounts of Omega 3's in your diet. Often, most people have an excess of Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3. Omega 3 cold-water fish oil is a great food for the optic nerve. We like to get our Omega 3 oil from an algae based supplement. (See Products section below.) Other foods like chia seed, walnuts and hemp seed also contain Omega 3's.
6) Ginkgo - The ginkgo leaf has been shown to increases blood flow to the retina, while also slowing retinal deterioration. It can be used dried or fresh as a tea or taken as a concentrated extract.
7) Camu Berry and Other Fruits - Many of the brightly colored fruits contain helpful pigments for the eyesight. Camu camu is top on the list with one of the highest levels of plant based vitamin C known. Blueberries and even apricots contain antioxidants, beta carotene and lycopene, known to reduce the damage from oxidative stress to the eye tissue.
Superfood Supplements for the EyesQuantum Nutrition Eye Support
For those with major eye damage or concerns, this is a highly reputable supplement offered by the Longevity Warehouse. It contains one of the highest quality and quantity of zeaxanthin and lutein available.
It is stated by Dr. Robert Marshall that: “For optimal eye health take: 9500 mcg of zeaxanthin and lutein, three times per week. For those 'concerned' about vision, for best results take; 9500 mcg of both, 8 times per day for 2-3 months until you see no further change. Then drop back to 3 times per week.”
For more info: Quantum Nutrition Eye Support
This is a product developed by the company Dragon Herbs. It contains a concentrated combination of top tonic herbs, including goji berry and chrysanthemum flower, that promote and maintain healthy eyes and vision.
Recipe of the Month:
Superior Eyesight Smoothie
This is a blend of about as many different antioxidant-rich and lutein/zeaxanthin potent foods I could get my hands on, thrown into a blender. All are on the top superfoods for the eyesight list of course, plus a powerful blend of concentrated green superfoods. It turns out a dark green color, but don't let that fool you... it actually tastes really good.
I made this particular recipe one day for a friend who wanted a convenient blended drink that would help her vision without having to think about "taking this or eating that", as she put it. I still make it for myself on a pretty regular basis in the summer time when I may need a little eyesight rejuvenation from hots days in the sunlight.
Vitamineral green is another great green food for the eyes that also contains other ingredients that help to detoxify and promote liver health.
Until our next issue...
May you thrive, prosper and evolve in the best of ways!
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All information in this ezine is the personal view of the author and is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or prescription. This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to cure or prevent any disease.
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