New book opens eyes about vision
Maybe you eat food with omega-3 fats for your heart, dairy products for your teeth and bones, and highfibre cereals for your colon. But what about your eyes?
Neal Adams, a Washington ophthalmologist, editor of the journal Eye Reports and former chief of visual physiology of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, has some suggestions. In his new book Healthy Vision: Prevent and Reverse Eye Disease Through Better Nutrition, Adams describes some of the research that demonstrates what eyes need to stay healthy.
For example, one study found that five of 20 astronauts on the International Space Station had developed problematic “eye conditions” during their tours; they were found to have a genetic variant that limited their absorption of folic acid and vitamin B12, which aid eye function. What did it signify that they were astronauts? Probably nothing — they made good study subjects because they all ate the same diet.
Adams goes on to describe a wide variety of nutrients, what they do for your eyes and where you can get them: Foods that can provide you with more folic acid, for example, include various nuts, spinach and edamame beans; for B12, some options are crab, salmon and mozzarella cheese.
The book is explanatory and easy to understand, and often makes the unsurprising point that foods we’ve repeatedly been told are healthful — lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, meat in moderation, seafood three or four times a week — also support eye health.
In an appendix that he calls “the go-to guide for readers who have been diagnosed with a disease, have noticed that their vision just keeps getting weaker ... or who simply want to avoid developing glaucoma,” he recommends generally similar diets, with interesting additions: To help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, watch out for too much vitamin B12, which can increase photosensitivity.