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Eye Health

Building and Maintaining Strong Vison for Life
by Fred Liers, citizen journalist

Building and maintaining excellent vision involves some basic steps anyone can follow. Even if you believe nothing can be done to help your vision, taking these simple steps can go far in preserving it, or even improving it.

Establishing core nutrition

The foundation of excellent vision is proper nutrition. A healthy diet is in many ways the most important factor in building, supporting, maintaining, and also improving vision. While there is no single diet that is best for everyone, experts agree that a healthy diet high in vegetables is essential for eye health. Choose to make every meal an opportunity for enjoying more vegetables (preferably organic). Steam, stir fry, or simply eat them raw.

Eat plenty of dark, green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collards and chard. Beyond dark greens, go for coloured vegetables, including carrots (orange), squash (yellow), beets (red), and red cabbage (purple). Colours indicate phytonutrients , many of which are antioxidants and eye-specific nutrients capable of providing super nutrition for your eyes. Fruits can help vision, too. Select dark fruits that are high in antioxidants like blueberries and blackberries, as well as dried fruits like raisins and prunes.

Core supplements

A primary element in establishing core nutrition is ensuring adequate intake of essential nutrients. One of the best ways to ensure your nutrient foundation is taking a series of core nutritional supplement formulas. Core supplements include: 1) a high-quality multivitamin, 2) a vitamin C formula and 3) an essential fats formula. These three basic formulas are the first supplements you should take, even if you take no others. Taking them regularly can significantly boost your level of health.

You can find core supplements at your local health food store. Integrated Health helped pioneer the concept of core nutrition, and they have formulated a superb trio of core supplements, including Multi Two, PRO-C, and Omega Plus. They offer a special package price of all three formulas, at: http://www.integratedhealth.com/core-formulas.html

Later, after establishing your regiment of core formulas, then you can add additional formulas, including herbs, single nutrients, and specific-condition formulas (e.g. a vision formula, diabetes formula, or antioxidant formula) that meet your individual needs.

Drink carrot juice and fresh organic vegetable juices

You likely have heard that carrot juice is a tonic for the eyes. Indeed, carrot juice works extremely well for this purpose, partly by providing large amounts of provitamin-A beta-carotene. Get a quality juicer and make at least 16 oz of juice every day. If you can’t make it yourself, then find a good juice bar.

While you’re making carrot juice (or having it made for you), why not add some beets, parsley greens, spinach leaves, celery stalks, or cucumber pieces into the mix? Fresh vegetable juices truly are the #1 way to improve vision.

Juicers are available in a diverse array of types and models. Look at them all. There is likely one in your price range. Considering the enormous benefits, a good juicer can be a priceless tool in the quest for better vision.

Vegetable juices are excellent for hydrating your body, but also remember to drink plenty of fresh, pure water.

Take antioxidant nutrients

Antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Other antioxidants needed for ocular health include beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, and other carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Although multivitamins and other core formulas provide antioxidants, it is a good idea to add a specific antioxidant formula, mixed carotenes formula, or a vision formula that can provide higher levels of these nutrients for optimal eye health.

In September, a well-published six-year study conducted by the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institute of Health (NIH) concluded that carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin are highly effective at preventing free-radical damage in eye cells and strengthening eye cell membranes (Archives of Ophthalmology 125: 1225-32, Sept. 2007). The researchers found that lutein and zeaxanthin protect the eye by absorbing blue light that can damage the macula.

NEI’s study confirms what many studies have previously concluded: antioxidant carotenes powerfully protect and support eye health.