Eye HealthPresident's Blog
Eye Health and Your Diet
October 11 th is World Sight Day, an advocacy event to promote eye care and optical health. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, adults should have eye exams every two years, and that frequency increases to yearly after age 65. When was the last time you had your eyes checked? This is a good reminder.
One of the goals of World Sight Day is to draw attention to eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This condition is most common in people aged 60 and over, and is a leading cause of blindness or blurred vision.
About 15 percent Canadians aged 50-75 and 30 percent of those over age 75 have some degree of AMD. The number of Canadians affected by AMD is expected to double to 2 million by the year 2031. Risk factors for AMD include age, gender, genetics, smoking, heart health and nutrition. Researchers have discovered that you may be able to prevent AMD or delay its progression by making some lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, being physically active, and eating more vegetables and fish.
Nutrition and Eyesight
You may not think about the link between eye health and eating, but maintaining healthy eyes really starts with what’s on your plate. Whole foods contain a host of different nutrients that help reduce the risk of age-related vision problems such as AMD. These nutrients may also protect against other eye diseases, such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. You want to make sure that your diet contains:
This healthy fat is a component of the structural matter of your retina. Besides helping form the cells of your eye, omega-3 fats also have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps prevent the eye disease diabetic retinopathy. Find omega-3 fats in fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel, or in eggs that are enriched with omega-3 fats, such as our Naturegg
Omega-3 Free Run
eggs and in our
Omega Plus Liquid Eggs
Lutein: This carotenoid acts as a color pigment in eyes. It functions as a light filter, protecting the eye from sun damage, and helps protect against eye diseases. In addition to eggs, it’s also found in leafy green vegetables, corn and squash. Interestingly, leafy green vegetables are generally the most concentrated sources of lutein, but studies have found the lutein in eggs is more bioavailable. That’s because the fat in the egg yolk allows your body to absorb the lutein from eggs much more efficiently than the lutein in vegetables. Our Omega Plus Shell Eggs and Omega Plus Liquid eggs have elevated levels of lutein, more than 3 times the average level found in regular eggs at 1 mg per 2 large egg servings.
Vitamin A: Have you heard the old adage that carrots are good for eyesight? It’s true – and it’s because they are rich in vitamin A (beta-carotene). Leafy greens and orange vegetables are high in vitamin A. Meta-analyses show that vitamin A helps reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
Vitamins C and E: Both of these vitamins act as antioxidants and help protect the eyes against free radical damage (harmful molecules). Foods that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwi, bell peppers, berries and broccoli. Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, oil and fatty fish. There are enhanced levels of Vitamin E in our Omega 3 and Omega Plus eggs.
With all that in mind, I think I’ll toss together a leafy green salad with some carrots, a few hard boiled eggs, a little barbecued salmon and a nice vinaigrette for dinner tonight.
Yours in good health,
President, Burnbrae Farms
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Attending trade shows, reading food industry blogs and talking to dietitians and fellow foodies provides me with a great overview of what’s coming up in terms of new ingredients, foods, flavours and wellness trends. These food trends feed into the never-ending innovation wheel at Burnbrae Farms. Whether we are developing new recipes or researching new product lines, we like to be forward-thinking. I thought it would be fun to share some of the trends that are predicted to be hot for 2019.