In the first of a three-part HealthWatch series on keeping your eyes healthy, ophthalmologist Dr. Jason Slakter sees his way clear to offer advice to viewers of The Early Show on the best foods for keeping your eyesight as good as it can be.
He tells Harry Smith that a diet low in fat and cholesterol has been shown to be good for the eyes. Of course, eating fruits and vegetables is important. Certain types of dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard and broccoli rabe are very rich in antioxidants and have been found to support eye health.
What about carrots? Actually, there are a lot more antioxidants in dark green, leafy vegetables. But, of course, carrots do contain beta carotene, which is an importnat nutrient.
Studies have found that Omega-3 fatty acids in certain types of fish are valuable in keeping eyes healthy.
The best thing parents can do is to make sure their kids eat a well-balanced diet with the proper mix of fruits and vegetables.
As we get older, it becomes more important to increase fruits and vegetables in our diet. Multivitamins can help fill in any nutrient gaps.
The proper diet is essential, he says, when you consider the two things that really strike people as they get older, cataracts and macular degeneration: "These things, we know now, can in fact be reduced, or the severity reduced, by intake of green, leafy vegetables…and certain other products such as fish and certain nuts and oils."
What's more, "We have clear studies that show you can slow the progress of these conditions and particularly others that can help us to see better as we get older," simply by eating right.
One more tip: don't smoke.
Friday, in the second part of this series, The Early Show focuses on the latest methods of preventing and treating glaucoma.