The Vision Diet: Food for Your Eyes

Vision Diet PyramidDiet for Better Vision and Overall Health

The standard Western diet tends to lack essential phytonutrients that support the health of the retina, as well as other nutrients such as adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and a wide range of amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and vitamin-like nutrients. The standard diet features processed foods, non-whole grains, fats, sugars, and some types of meat that may aggravate inflammation in the body. Inflammation is an underlying cause, or sometimes a direct cause, of many health issues, such as arthritis. Inflammation also harms vision health.

We recommend an anti-inflammation diet based on a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and the Alkalizing Diet.

Dietary Guidelines

  • A well-balanced diet, combined with good eating habits, promotes the best possible absorption of nutrients.
  • Avoid foods containing AGEs. AGEs are biochemical compounds that form naturally within the body through enzyme reactions involving sugars, proteins, fats, or nucleic acids. If too-high levels of AGEs form, they cause oxidative damage and inflammation. AGEs are found in some foods and are formed by cooking these foods. High-heat methods of cooking meat and cheese, such as grilling, searing, roasting, and frying, hasten the formation of additional AGEs. High-fat, aged cheeses contain more AGEs than low-fat cheeses (low-fat mozzarella, cheddar, and cottage cheese). Other foods high in AGEs include butter and processed foods such as cream cheese and mayonnaise. Oils and nuts contain lower quantities.
  • Favor an Anti-inflammatory diet. Tight control of blood glucose levels and hypertension is essential to slow and manage inflammation. There are several treatments available to help control it.
  • Limit or avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. It is thought that excess sugar in one’s diet results in too much glucose making its way to the eyes, making it difficult for the eyes to utilize all the glucose. This may result in more dry eye symptoms and can cause diabetes. 54.3% of diabetics suffer from dry eye syndrome. Know what you are putting into your body.
  • Avoid toxic fats in commercial red meats, dairy products, fried foods, and hydrogenated oils such as margarine and shortening. These fats interfere with the proper metabolism of essential fatty acids in the body and, indirectly, cause dry eye syndrome.
  • Gut issues may contribute to dry eye. Try taking a high-quality probiotic to replenish the healthy flora in your gut, particularly if you have been on long-term antibiotics. Once your symptoms are under control, try switching from probiotics in pill form to real food ferments such as sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, yogurt, etc. They provide a greater variety of beneficial bacteria than can be found in a pill. And they contain many vitamins and minerals.

Suppose inflammation is a contributing factor in an individual’s dry eye syndrome. In that case, it is imperative to look at the possibility that your gut may be the source of the inflammation. Leaky gut syndrome and imbalances in gut flora may also be contributing. Chronic inflammatory conditions have been tied to dry eye syndrome.

Nutrition and Vision

The eyes need essential nutrients to maintain healthy vision, second only the needs of the brain. Macular degeneration is often related to the retina “starving” for essential nutrients. Glaucoma, cataracts, macular edema, epiretinal membrane, retinal tears and detachments, and other eye issues have underlying causes. Major contributing factors to eye disease are often connected to a poor diet, lack of exercise, chronic stress, and underlying inflammatory conditions. Other factors can come into play, such as genetics, being highly myopic, and exposure to environmental toxins. This represents an opportunity to take charge of our healthy vision and overall health. The body is always trying to heal, so the focus is on taking actions that support the body’s natural healing process.

The Vision Diet: A Plant-Based Diet

We believe that the Vision Diet is a healthy diet for both eyes and body. The diet consists mainly of plant-based foods, along with small portions of preferably organic, consciously produced animal products, such as free-range, grass-fed meats. Vegetarians on a strict plant-based diet need to routinely check their levels of certain nutrients that are difficult or not possible to obtain solely from plants, particularly vitamin B12, zinc, and iron.

The Vision Diet incorporates the following principles:

    1. The Alkalizing Diet avoids the foods that cause inflammation, including high amounts of processed food, refined carbohydrates, poor-quality oils, and high levels of salt.
    2. The Mediterranean Diet, for example, is alkaline and avoids processed and refined foods; it is rich in vegetables and fruit.
    3. Balanced omega-3 and omega-6. Minimize carbohydrates, particularly all refined carbohydrates (white flour, pasta, white bread and rice, and sugar).

Learn more about the Vision Diet.

Juicing

Make healthy juice in your kitchen. Choose at least four to six fruits and vegetables. Do not use too many carrots and beets due to their natural sweetness. Remember to include healthy ingredients, such as ginger, parsley, beets, cabbage, carrots, endive, green-leafy vegetables, chlorophyll, wheatgrasses, and berries. Favor organic produce. Do not use cold fruit or ice. Cold arrests the digestive fires. In the winter, you may have warm soups or stews instead.

Supplement Recommendations

Advanced Eye and Vision Support Formula – our whole food, organic, GMO free formula with lutein and zeaxanthin.

Dr. Grossman’s Meso Plus Retinal Support and Computer Eye Strain Formula with Astaxanthin 90 vcaps – with lutein, zeaxanthin, mesozeaxanthin, and astaxanthin

Dr. Grossman’s Whole Food Organic Superfood Multi-Vitamin 120 Vcaps -our organic, whole food, GMO-free multivitamin

Dr. Grossman’s Bilberry/Ginkgo Combination 2oz (60ml) – strengthens blood vessels and capillaries and are potent antioxidants.

Dr. Grossman’s Premium Turmeric Vcaps (Organic) – and GMO-free. Helps reduce inflammation.

ReVision Formula (wild-crafted herbal formula) 2 oz – wild-crafted herbal formula basic on classic Chinese formulation to promote healthy circulation and energy flow in the eyes and body.

 

What Causes Accelerated Aging? Research on Senescent Cells

senescent cell vs normal cell
Click the picture to enlarge

Remaining energetic and healthy is generally a goal for seniors. In this article, we will look at one of the factors that cause accelerated aging — senescent cells. Damaged cells cause visible signs of aging: liver spots, gray hair, and wrinkles. Disease, injury, and other stress factors harm cells throughout our body. Increased free radical activity contributes to accelerated aging.

Ideally, the damaged cells are removed by our immune system through a process called apoptosis. Damaged cells die, are eliminated, and are replaced by new cells.  About 1% of all of our cells are replaced daily — billions of cells.1 Continue reading “What Causes Accelerated Aging? Research on Senescent Cells”

Antioxidant Building Blocks

Did you know you can help your body create and maintain healthy levels of antioxidants?

Oxidative Stress Consequences

Mix of differrent berries

Our body is under constant stress due to the creation of free radicals. Oxidative stress, resulting from the presence of free radicals, is implicated directly or indirectly in many vision and health conditions. Some researchers consider oxidative stress to be the root of all (non-genetic driven) health conditions. With respect to vision, it is a factor in deterioration of the macula,1 the cornea,2 the photoreceptors,3 retinal microcapillaries,4 and the optic nerve.5 Even for those prone to genetic diseases, free radicals can significantly worsen health conditions. Continue reading “Antioxidant Building Blocks”

CoQ10 Supports Mitochondrial Function in Every Cell

Senior taking CoQ10 supplementWhat is CoQ10?

Co-enzyme Q10 is an essential nutrient and antioxidant found in every cell in the body. It supports and promotes mitochondrial function essential for cellular energy. It is critical for eye, brain, and heart health. Health conditions like heart disease, brain disorders, diabetes, and cancer have been linked to low levels of CoQ10.1 The highest concentrations of COQ10 are found in organs with the greatest energy demands, such as the heart, kidneys, lungs, and liver.2 It is present in large quantities in the retina and the brain.3 4

CoQ10 is essential because it supports mitochondria processes. Mitochondria are the cellular energy producers that support all cellular activity. When CoQ10 is depleted or deficient, cells throughout the body are deprived of a fundamental need. Other nutrients such as acetyl-l-carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, PQQ, and alpha-lipoic acid enhance CoQ10 functioning. Continue reading “CoQ10 Supports Mitochondrial Function in Every Cell”

Melatonin Research Update

melatonin molecule researchThe body produces the hormone melatonin in several places, mostly in the pineal gland and the eyes. It is also produced in the gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow, skin, and white blood cells known as lymphocytes. Melatonin coordinates circadian rhythms and helps induce sleep. Research suggests the decline in melatonin levels that occurs during aging contributes to insomnia and other aging-associated conditions.

Melatonin does more than assist in balancing our circadian rhythms. New research substantiates that it helps our vision. Continue reading “Melatonin Research Update”

Benefits of Ghee or Clarified Butter

ghee clarified butter for cookingUse Ghee Instead of Butter

Ghee has long been a staple in Indian cuisine and is quite popular in US cooking.

Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It’s more concentrated in fat than butter, as its water and milk solids have been removed. Because there are no milk solids, it does not have to be refrigerated. Ghee stays solid at room temperature and does not go rancid.

It is full of fat-soluble vitamins (A, C, D, and K) and healthy fatty acids. Ghee benefits can range from building stronger bones to enhancing weight loss. This can be especially crucial if you suffer from any conditions like leaky gut syndrome, IBS or Crohn’s, as your body may have difficulty absorbing fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E and K. Vitamin K is essential in supporting bone health. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the diets of 2,591 adults and found that a low intake of vitamin K was associated with reduced bone mass density in women.1 Continue reading “Benefits of Ghee or Clarified Butter”

New Corneal Research

cornea transplantThe cornea is in front of the lens. It is a clear layer, seeming to lack substance.  However, it is comprised of multiple layers and groups of cells and proteins which are highly organized.

Unlike other parts of the body, the cornea does not contain any blood vessels to nourish or protect the tissue against infection. Instead, the cornea receives its nourishment from tears and aqueous humor, a fluid in the front portion of the eye that fills the chamber between the cornea and the lens. The cornea must remain transparent to refract light properly and enable clear vision. The presence of even the tiniest blood vessels can interfere with this process. To see well, all layers of the cornea must be free of any cloudy or opaque areas. Continue reading “New Corneal Research”

Hypertension and the Eyes

High Blood Pressure and Vision Health

blood vesselsHypertension increases sharply with advancing age; hence older persons are those most affected by its negative consequences.

High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the retina. The retina is the layer of tissue at the back part of the eye. It changes light and images that enter the eye into nerve signals that are sent to the brain.

Those with high pressure not carefully controlled have a high incidence of heart attacks and strokes, as well as retinal disorders that can result in retinal bleeding, and other eye conditions such as hypertensive retinopathy, Central serous choroidopathy (CSCR), also referred to as central serous retinopathy (CSR) and glaucoma. Continue reading “Hypertension and the Eyes”