RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

MACULAR DEGENERATION UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on August 29th, 2008

A recent study conducted across seven European countries and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that eating fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids once a week can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and help keep your vision sharp. AMD is an eye disease that destroys central vision by damaging the macula, a thin layer of nerve cells that lines most of the inside of your eyeball and is part of the retina. Nerve cells in the retina detect light and send signals to the brain of what your eye sees. The macula is near the center of the retina at the back of the eyeball and provides the clear, sharp, central vision that you use for focusing on what is in front of you. Because AMD does not affect side vision, it does not lead to total blindness. However it will cause central vision loss, the most important part of your vision. Here is a useful shopping list to help you stock up on Omega-3 acids at the grocery store.

 

• Anchovies and sardines: Despite their reputation as strange pizza toppings, these two are a good source of Omega-3. They also tend to be high in sodium.

• Salmon. This fatty fish is exploding with omega-3 and may be the best bang for your buck in the seafood aisle.

• Bluefin tuna: The seafood equivalent of steak is also packed with Omega-3 and is low in the less desireable Omega-6 fatty acids. Mackerel, herring and rainbow trout are good substitutes for it.

• Crustaceans: If you get tired of fish, switch things up with shrimp, mollusks or Alaskan king crab.

• Oils: Pick up a bottle of flaxseed oil and use it to season your salads. Consider switching to canola oil when you cook—by getting rid of vegetable oils in your diet, you can also lessen the amount of Omega-6 fatty acids in your diet.

• Papaya: To satisfy your sweet tooth, finish up your meal with a slice of papaya, or add it to your breakfast menu.

• Beans. Some legumes are better than others for tipping the omega balance your way. Kidney, pinto, and mungo beans will do you right. Chickpeas are less helpful.

• Spinach. Serve up this leafy green in a salad, or sauté it and add it to pasta.

• Nuts and seeds. Add a nutty flavor to salad, yogurt, or morning mueslix with walnuts or flaxseed. A small handful of either will up your omega-3 intake.

• Winter squash. Keep an eye out for this seasonal vegetable—it makes an interesting side dish that boosts your omega-3 intake.

• Broccoli and cauliflower. These cruciferous veggies are on your side when it comes to omega-3s.

• Papaya. A tropical delight, papaya may be the only fruit in your supermarket with more omega-3 than omega-6.

[Source: Dear Marci/Medicare Rights Center Weekly health tip 18 Aug 08 ++]

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