Thursday, November 08, 2007

Foods that Cut Aging Related Blindness Risk

Is there a relation between food and aging related blindness? are there foods that can lead us to blindness, and others that cut this risk?

The leading cause of aging related blindness after age 60 is aging related macular degeneration (AMD).
Researchers found that taking vitamin D and eating foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids - specially fish- may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

AMD occurs when the macula -at the back of the retina- breaks down over time, and vision becomes blurred.

Researchers in a trial sponsored by the American Institutes of Health's National Eye Institute, found that one type of omega-3 fatty acids called Docosahexaenoic acid is believed to play an important role in the normal functioning of the retina.

Docohexaenoic acid is mainly found in fatty fish such as Salmon and Tuna, and can be produced by the human body when there is a good supply of the essential fatty acid Linolenic acid, foods that are rich sources of Linolenic acid include Flax seeds, Wall nuts, Soybeans, and some dark green leafy vegetables.

Researchers found that people who ate more fish -more than 2 medium servings per week- were least likely to have the disease.
The authors believe fatty acids may promote cell survival and bolster blood vessel function, reduce inflammation and maintain energy balance.

A second team of researchers found that vitamin D was associated with reduced risk of early AMD, but not advanced AMD. They suggested vitamin D may cut the risk of early age-related macular degeneration by reducing inflammation or preventing blood vessel growth in the retina.

The disease affects millions of people and here 2 lists of foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, or vitamin D, so that those people at risk would consider paying attention to these foods:

List of foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Flax seeds --2 tablespoons (serving size) provides 140.5% of Daily Value(DV)
Walnuts ------0.25 cup ----------------------------- 90.8% of Daily Value(DV)
Salmon, Chinook, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt ------------- 83.6% (DV)
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup ----------------------------- 41.2% (DV)
Halibut, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt---------------------- 24.8% (DV)
Shrimp, steamed/boiled 4 oz-wt---------------------- 14.8%
Snapper, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt---------------------- 14.4%
Tofu, raw 4 oz-wt ---------------------------------- 14.4%
Scallops, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt--------------------- 14.0%
Winter squash, baked, cubes 1 cup ------------------ 13.6%
Tuna, yellow fin, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt------------- 13.2%
Cod, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt-------------------------- 12.8%
Brussels sprouts, boiled 1 cup---------------------- 10.4%
Cauliflower, boiled 1 cup -------------------------- 8.4%
Cloves, dried, ground 2 tsp ------------------------ 8.0%
Broccoli, steamed 1 cup ---------------------------- 8.0%
Mustard seeds 2 tsp -------------------------------- 8.0%
Collard greens, boiled 1 cup ------------------------ 7.2%
Cabbage, shredded, boiled 1 cup---------------------- 6.8%
Spinach, boiled 1 cup ------------------------------- 6.0%
Summer squash, cooked, slices 1 cup ----------------- 6.0%
Kale, boiled 1 cup----------------------------------- 5.2%
Oregano, dried, ground 2 teaspoons------------------- 4.8%
Strawberries 1 cup ---------------------------------- 4.4%
Green beans, boiled 1 cup --------------------------- 4.4%
Turnip greens, cooked 1 cup ------------------------- 3.6%
Romaine lettuce 2 cup ------------------------------- 3.2%

Shrimps have a high content of cholesterol, and many other foods are calorie dense, so it is a better idea if you stick to Flax seeds, Wall nuts, Tuna and Salmon fish.
You still have the choice to diversify foods for your convenience.

List of Foods Rich in Vitamin D

Salmon, Chinook, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt----------------------- 102.8%
Shrimp, steamed/boiled 4 oz-wt ------------------------------- 40.6%
Cow's milk, 2% 1 cup ----------------------------------------- 24.4%
Cod, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt ----------------------------------- 15.9%
Egg, whole, boiled 1 each ------------------------------------- 5.7%

Although these are the richest foods with vitamin D, yet it is much better if you get your needs by exposure to sun in the morning for a few minutes every day.

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