Since vision loss often occurs as people age, it is very important for seniors to get enough foods that enhance eyesight. Oklahoma live-in caregivers can make sure their senior loved ones eat the following seven foods to maintain or boost their eye health.
1. Orange Bell Peppers
A 1998 study by the British Journal of Ophthalmology found that orange bell peppers are the richest source of zeaxanthin. The human body cannot naturally create this carotenoid compound, but it is necessary to build a strong macula. Without enough zeaxanthin, seniors risk age-related macular degeneration.
Leafy greens like kale have large amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein is another important carotenoid that is necessary for maintaining retinal health. Both these nutrients help to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration risks.
Tomatoes are a great source of another carotenoid, lycopene, which is a compound that protects the eye from light-induced damage. In addition to being used in salads and sauces, Oklahoma in-home care providers recommend turning tomatoes into a yummy salsa or pasta sauce for seniors who like spicy foods.
4. Fatty Fish
Numerous fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, lake trout and herring are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats and oils are needed to craft the cell membranes that retain eye structure.
Like kale, seniors can get a lot of lutein and zeaxanthin from spinach. However, when spinach is heated beyond a certain temperature, these carotenoids are damaged. Therefore, it is best to eat it as a raw salad or in a smoothie.
The yolks of eggs contain both carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids, which is why they are ideal for promoting eye health. Seniors can add them to a salad of spinach and peppers to maximize levels of these helpful compounds.
7. Olive Oil
According to a 2016 study conducted by a team of Australian researchers, seniors who consumed olive oil regularly were almost 50 percent less likely to get age-related macular degeneration than those who did not. Olive oil is so versatile that you can use it in almost every recipe, particularly salads and soups.
Nutrition is a very important aspect of senior health. With help from Home Care Assistance, your loved one can maintain a nutritious diet that benefits his or her wellness. In addition to helping clients maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, we provide specialized stroke, Alzheimer’s, and dementia home care in Oklahoma for seniors with more specific needs. Contact a friendly Care Manager by calling 405-285-4191 today to get a free consultation.