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Eyes-What to Eat to Keep Your Eyes
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October 21, 2009, last updated June 15, 2012

By A.Lee,  Contributing Columnist

All of us have heard that we should "eat our carrots" to
keep our eyes healthy. But do they work? What foods
actually are effective in keeping our eyes healthy? Is there
an ideal or best diet for eye health?
Eye health is often neglected until something goes wrong.
As a nation, we take our eyes for granted. And that's a
mistake. According to the National Eye Institute,
approximately 25 million Americans can expect to develop
macular degeneration, glaucoma or some other eye disease
in their lifetimes.  Yet few of us know the type of diets or
vitamins which support eye health.

Drawn from research studies, here are the foods and
vitamins you should eat to keep your eyes healthy:

Foods to Eat and Vitamins to Take to Keep Your Eyes

1. Zinc.  Zinc is critical for eye health.  In a study conducted
by the National Eye Institute of 3600 people with
age-related macular degeneration, researchers found that
high levels of zinc and antioxidants reduce the incidence of
macular degenration by 25%.

The formulations are only recommended for people at high
risk for macular degeneration, a diagnosis that can only be
made by your doctor.

If you are at risk for macular degeneration, the
recommended zinc intake is 80 milligrams per day in the
form of zinc oxide. You also have to take a copper
supplement of two millgrams a day in the form of cupric
oxide, becuase the high zinc intake throws off your copper
balances and can lead to copper deficiency anemia.

Vitamin C.  Your eyes need Vitamin C to stay healthy.  
500 milligrams of vitamin C daily are recommended for
protection against age-related macular degeneration. These
levels are hard to achieve through diet alone. Nonetheless,
make sure you include kiwis, oranges and other sources of
vitamin C in your daily diet for eye health.

Beta-Carotene. Okay, Mom was right. Eating your
carrots will keep your eyes healthy. You'll need 15
milligrams a day to stave off age-related macular
degeneration (that's 25,000 International units of Vitamin
A). The only downside is that, in a small percentage of
cases, this level of beta-carotine can literally turn your skin
orange or yellow.

If you are a smoker, taking high levels of beta carotene has
been linked to increased risk of lung cancer, according to
the National Cancer Institute.

Pumpkins.  Need a great source of Vitamin A? Try
pumpkins. They contain 170% of the daily recommended
level of Vitamin A  for general eye health. Pumpkin filling is
available in cans when pumpkins are out of season.
Pumpkins also contain plus lutein and zeaxanthin,
compunds which also promote eye health.

Dark Leafy Green Vegetables. Dark leafy green
vegetables are rich in the type of antioxidants and
phytochemicals which keep eyes healthy throughout your
life. Like pumpkins, green vegetables are especially
important in helping your eyes adjust to the dark.

Bilberries Prevent Cataracts and Macular Degeneration.
Several studies have discovered that the humble bilberry
--a close cousin of the blueberry-can actually prevent
cataracts and macular degeneration in many people.2010
led by researchers from the University of Chieti-Pescara in
San Valentino Italy has found that a drug made from
extracts of bilberry can lower interocular blood pressure

You're just getting started. Find out more foods which can
help to improve your blood pressure, sugar levels and
overall health:
Swollen Ankles -Causes and Cures  / Reduce Dry
Mouth at Night/ Foods That Lower Blood Pressure / Ideal Breakfast
for Diabetes /: Stop Night Time Congestion /Tight Bras and
Briefs-Health Dangers /Night Cramps/ Night Sweats/ Snoring Raises
Your Risk of Stroke/ The Importance of Drinking Enough Water
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oranges keep your eyes healthy
Bilberries can help prevent cataracts and   
macular degeneration