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Eye Health Diet

Antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are key

By eating right, you may be able to help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration or even reduce your risk of developing AMD.

Many of the vitamins and minerals in a natural, healthy diet may help vision, especially fruit, green leafy vegetables, and fish. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help protect your body from damage from destructive molecules. Called "free radicals," these destructive molecules are created during your body's normal processes. In excess, however, free radicals can cause cell damage, or oxidative stress, which is thought to play a major role in the development of macular degeneration. Antioxidants neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals and help protect against cell damage.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for eye health. Fish is the primary dietary source of omega-3s. Studies have shown that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration progression.

By contrast, the fats commonly found in many processed snack or so-called "junk" foods have been linked with double the risk of developing wet macular degeneration — the more severe type of AMD.