Macular degeneration diet is recommended for patients affected with macular degeneration, or MD, a medical condition which mostly occurs in the older adults. The condition is marked by a loss of vision in the visual field's center. This happens because of damage to the retina. The condition has 'dry' and 'wet' forms and in older adults, it is the major cause of complete impairment of vision.
Although macular degeneration is almost always age-related, it is sometimes seen in the younger population as well. The condition can be reversible, but mostly it is not, especially when found in older adults or the over-50 population. The best things to do, therefore, are to either works towards preventing MD or slow its progression so that the effects are slowed and the patient can be hopeful of retaining his/her eye-sight for a long duration. Doctors generally follow a balanced routine of medication and healthy diet and lifestyle.
Main Features of a Macular Degeneration Diet
A diet plan followed by a patient affected with macular degeneration is mostly custom-made by the doctor and dietician based on a person's individual requirements, limitation, age, etc. There are, however, some common inclusions:
Green, leafy vegetables: Vegetables like lettuce, parsley, cabbage and spinach are rich in vitamins and minerals which help keep eye-sight balanced and eyes healthy. Their consumption is therefore greatly encouraged. It is, however, important to note that fresh and organic vegetables are favored over canned and frozen ones. These leafy produces can be consumed raw or made into soups, salads, etc.
Fish: Rich in Omega 3 acids and oil, fish helps slow the progress of macular degeneration. Research has shown that consumption of fish, in some cases, has also managed to reverse the condition to a certain degree, if not completely.
Nuts: Consumption of nuts like almonds, raisins and cashews has been known to promote healthy eye-sight. A handful of nuts are almost always a part of a wholesome macular degeneration diet. Nuts are generally to be consumed about 2 to 3 times a week.
Milk and Dairy Products: Milk, preferably toned, and dairy products like cheese, tofu and cottage cheese are important foods in a MD diet. These contain nutrients which help keep eyes and vision healthy. It is, however, to be noted that consumption of fresh and home-made dairy products is favored over that of packaged products.
Foods to be Avoided
As a general rule, foods rich in fat and calories are avoided when following a MD diet. Consumption of beverages like alcoholic drinks and cola drinks, tea and coffee is also strictly regulated. Fresh fruit juice is also given in controlled quantities.
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