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Answering a popular question: What foods help macular degeneration?

We get a lot of commonly asked questions here at ilumin, and one of our most common is “what foods are good for macular degeneration?”

This week, we come to you with the answer. The good news: many of these foods are probably already in your diet. Patients are encouraged to eat foods that contain a specific number of healthy vitamins, minerals and nutrients. If you’re looking for a complete eating plan, the Mediterranean diet includes many of these foods.

Here’s some things to consider.

Antioxidant rich foods

Vitamins A, C and E help your body fight off cellular damage. Find vitamin A in red-orange pigment vegetables and fruits, along with dark leafy greens. Citrus is a vitamin C powerhouse, and you’ll get a good dose of vitamin E from nuts, seeds and oils.

Omega-3 fatty acids

The top three Omega-3 acids are EPA, DHA and ALA. Fatty fish are a great source of EPA and DHA. ALA is mostly found in nuts and seeds. Omega-3’s are best at helping the body fight inflammation, which research shows plays a role in macular degeneration. (The good news is fatty acids are also great at lowering cholesterol.)

Copper and Zinc

Trace minerals are a power player when it comes to eye health. Zinc helps the body absorb the important vitamin A, and regulates cellular function. Find it in meats, shellfish and beans, like chickpeas. Dark leafy greens are also rich in copper. So are nuts, seeds, legumes and eggs.

A few foods to avoid

The same foods responsible for clogging arteries of the heart can also clog the eye’s blood vessels. Avoid processed foods; lard and vegetable shortening; high-fat dairy; palm oil; and fatty proteins like beef or lamb. It’s also smart to moderate sweets and let go of sugary drinks.

Want more information about macular degeneration? Come and see a member of the ilumin staff. You can make an appointment to see one of our knowledgeable doctors.

A macular degeneration shopping list

Consider taking this list on your next trip to the grocery store:

Sweet potatoes







Butternut squash



Kiwi fruit


Black eyed peas





Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Chicken breast

Lean beef