Diabetic retinopathy is thought to be brought on by a reduction in blood perfusion to the eye as a result of constant damage to blood vessels in the eye caused high blood glucose. For this reason tight glucose control is helpful in delaying progression of retinopathy. (1) Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy typically don’t develop until later in the disease progression, thus screening is essential to people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. (2)
Along with seeing the eye doctor eating the right nutrients can delay the progression of diabetic neuropathy. Eye health depends on vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene. In people with type 2 diabetes those with higher concentrations of the pigments lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene had a 66% reduction in the risk for retinopathy. (3) These phytonutrients are found in varying degrees in different fruits and vegetables along the color spectrum. (4) With colorful diet rich with reds, oranges, yellows and greens will ensure you are getting of the right eye nutrients.
Ravishing Reds: tomatoes, sweet red peppers, guava, papaya, watermelon, raspberries and strawberries!
Yell out for Yellow/Orange: Corn, sweet potato, orange peppers, carrot, butternut squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and mango!
Go for Green: kiwi, green grapes, broccoli, kale, spinach, chard, Brussels sprout and mustard greens!
Increasing the red/orange/yellow/green fruits and vegetables in your diet can benefit your eyes and also help with other health goals, as they are low in calories, nutrient dense, full of fiber and naturally delicious.
- The Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Follow-On (ACCORDION) Eye Study Group and the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Follow-On (ACCORDION) Study Group. (2016, July 01). Persistent Effects of Intensive Glycemic Control on Retinopathy in Type 2 Diabetes in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Follow-On Study. Retrieved June 06, 2017, from http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/7/1089
- Scanlon, P. (2013). Screening intervals for diabetic retinopathy. Http://isrctn.org/>. doi:10.1186/isrctn62748772
- Scripsema, N. K., Hu, D., & Rosen, R. B. (2015). Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and meso-Zeaxanthin in the Clinical Management of Eye Disease. Retrieved June 06, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4706936/
- Sommerburg, O., Keunen, J., Bird, A., & van Kuijk, F. J. G. M. (1998). Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. The British Journal of Ophthalmology, 82(8), 907–910.
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This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.