Monday, November 21, 2011

A Healthy Diet for Healthy Eyes

I once took them for granted. Neglected them. Over-used them. They did their job fine, without much attention or gratitude from me. Until the spring of 2009, when they didn't function properly. That's when I realised how much I depend on my eyes.

After a year and a half of a slow and steady recovery, my vision started to normalise. I now have a greater appreciation for my baby browns.

Every 12 minutes in Canada, one person will suffer from vision loss, according to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. The leading cause of blindness is age-related macular degeneration. With our aging population, that means a growing number of us run that risk.

To give us a better understanding of eye health, I invited Leona Emberson into AK's Kitchen. Leona teaches people how to adapt their kitchens and lifestyles when they or their family members lose their vision.

Leona has lived all her life with a visual impairment.  She tells me that nutrition and lifestyle go a long way for maintaining healthy eyes. She advocates a healthy diet rich in vitamins E and C, as well as riboflavin and niacin. A while back, I shared a smoothie recipe that's packed with those nutrients. Here's another resource for foods that promote eye health.

If you or a loved one is experiencing vision loss, there are many resources to help you adjust to a new normal. The CNIB and the Hadley School for the Blind are a couple of starting points.

Next up, Leona gives us some pointers on how to equip your kitchen for low or no vision. Stay tuned.


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