Proper Diet Plan for Glaucoma Patients
Glaucoma is an eye disorder that results in damage to the optic nerve and causes vision loss. This impedes the link between the eyes and the brain. For those with glaucoma, leading a healthy lifestyle is essential. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help support and manage the condition, and also reduce the risk of developing glaucoma.
Glaucoma is one of the most frequent causes of blindness, second only to cataracts in how often it affects people around the world. It is a neurological disorder that deteriorates the optic nerve, which connects the eyes to the brain. If not managed and watched carefully, it can lead to permanent blindness. To avoid this, it is important to regularly visit an ophthalmologist and eat healthily for glaucoma.
However, if you’re condition is severe and looking for an effective, safe, and affordable treatment plan then you can opt for stem cell treatment for glaucoma in India via Stem Cell Care India. For now, let’s understand the diet tips for Glaucoma.
Best Foods to Eat When You Have Glaucoma
- Consume leafy greens: Incorporating green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale in your diet plan may lower the risk of developing glaucoma. This is because these vegetables contain high levels of nitrates which act as the precursor to nitrate oxide, which in turn helps ensures healthy blood circulation in the eyes. Various research indicates that the risk of glaucoma can be reduced by 20% to 30% when nitrates are consumed through the intake of leafy green vegetables.
- Add seafood to your diet: The results of the research showed that EPA and DHA fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids were lower in glaucoma patients. A wild-caught salmon is a great option for EPA and DHA, as they are also present in other water fish like tuna, sardines, and herring. These fatty acids support ocular blood flow and reduce the risk related to glaucoma symptoms.
- Eggs: The high lutein content in egg yolks makes them a great way to protect against glaucoma and improve eyesight. Studies suggest that the body may absorb lutein more readily from eggs than from other sources. Furthermore, eggs contain essential amino acids and phytonutrients that are beneficial for overall eye health.
- Carrots: Carrots are not only good for your overall health, but they could also play a role in preserving your eye health. Containing carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin- antioxidants that are found naturally in your eyes- these orange root vegetables are a great source of these nutrients which help to protect the eyes from free radicals which could lead to glaucoma-related vision loss. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like carrots can create a healthier environment for the eyes in order to minimize the chances of developing glaucoma.
- Green tea: When the pressure in the eye increases, it can lead to the development of glaucoma, which can cause damage to the eye’s optic nerve. To reduce some of the eye pressure, a cozy mug of green tea may offer relief for up to two hours. Research has revealed that drinking either green or black tea can reduce the risk of glaucoma by up to 74%. It is believed that the pressure-reducing effects stem from the antioxidants that these teas contain.
- Dairy products: Dairy food items are beneficial for eye health due to their high Vitamin A and Zinc content. These essential minerals can help to sharpen night vision and reduce the risk of cataracts. Even more, zinc is found throughout the eyes.
- Seeds and nuts: If you’re a vegetarian and need to find options that contain omega-3 fatty acids other than fish, nuts and seeds are your answer. They hold Vitamin E which can help protect the eyes. Adding these nuts and seeds to your pancakes, yogurt, or other food items is a fun way to incorporate them. Some of the nuts and seeds with omega-3 acids are flaxseed, walnuts, and chai seeds. Alternatively, you could grind them or serve them just like that for a nutritious snack.
- Oranges and peaches: Consuming peaches and oranges can greatly reduce the risk of glaucoma as both fruits have essential vitamins. Peaches contain beta-carotene, which can be converted into Vitamin A when ingested. Similarly, oranges are full of Vitamin C, which is beneficial for proper eye health. Many studies have shown that peach consumption can lower the risk of glaucoma by 70% while oranges can reduce the risk by 82%.
- Beets: Eating roughly 1 cup (130 g) of beets per day has been linked to a reduced risk of glaucoma, in addition to leafy greens being a great source of nitrates, which help to improve blood flow to the eyes.
Try to incorporate these listed food items in your diet management plan. This will help reduce the risk of glaucoma symptoms and make your life easier.
Know the Foods to Avoid
Knowing which foods to eat when you have glaucoma is not the only factor; one must also be aware of which foods to avoid when glaucoma is a concern. Here is a list of foods, which can be beneficial in improving your overall eye health, while helping to avoid the risks associated with glaucoma.
- Refined carbohydrates: Foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, baked goods, pasta, and cereal can induce a spike in insulin levels. An increase in insulin levels can lead to an elevation in IOP (intraocular pressure) and blood pressure, further worsening the glaucoma.
- Saturated fats: Food products that are high in saturated fat such as red meats, beef, lard, and oils can lead to weight gain, which in turn, can worsen the existing glaucoma.
- Coffee: Drinking a lot of caffeinated coffee can increase your IOP, potentially worsening the effects of glaucoma.
- Limit the intake of salt: Although sodium may not be an immediate anxiety for glaucoma sufferers, research has suggested that overconsumption of salt could be a threat to those who take medication to control their hypertension.
- Restrict the consumption of alcohol: Although drinking alcohol may temporarily help to reduce eye pressure by relaxing the blood vessels in one’s eyes, there exists a connection between drinking, raised eye pressure, and glaucoma. Therefore, it is advised that individuals with glaucoma should avoid consuming alcohol.
It is crucial for those suffering from glaucoma to take proper management and to avoid certain things that can aggravate the condition—including medications that contain steroids. Therefore, one should maintain a healthy diet to prevent further deterioration of vision.
Remember to note that the advice or tips given here are just general suggestions and should not take the place of advice from your doctor. As per your situation and needs your personal healthcare provider can provide you with the best dietary instructions. However, if your condition is more severe and want to know about the treatment options then visit SCCI, the best stem cell center for glaucoma, or visit our website to read more in detail.