Ancestral Dietary Strategy for Macular Degeneration

Ancestral Dietary Strategy for Macular Degeneration

Greek physician, Hippocrates (460 – 370 BC) wrote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. This advice from over 2000 years ago is more pertinent today than ever before. Yet, few people follow such simple advice. 

As you are surrounded by thousands of food choices, most are manipulated into chemically processed convenience, stripped of nutritional benefits. To make it even more of a challenge, these processed foods are often packaged and advertised as natural, healthy choices. 

Dr. Chris Knobbe, former associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and currently leading the ‘Cure AMD Foundation’ investigated the effects of diet on vision. He claims that changing your eating habits may prevent and, according to Knobbe, cure AMD (age-related macular degeneration) in his book ‘Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration’. 

The concept here is not surprising as AMD has been linked to a compromised diet, however it can be educational, particularly when you consider grabbing your next food choice. 

Ancestral Diet

The term ‘Ancestral Diet’ is pretty self-explanatory inasmuch that it refers to the eating habits of our ancestors. Also known as the ‘Decolonizing Diet’ or ‘Tribal Food Sovereignty,’ ancestral diet means eating organic, wholesome (in its original state), natural, Indigenous (native to the area you reside) foods which is what our ancestors did for millennia. 

According to Well for Culture, ancestral foods (AF) are described as:

  • Local, organic, non GMO, seasonal, environmentally sustainable
  • Little or no labeling, minimal packaging, very few ingredients, minimal travel
  • Contain less than 4-5 ingredients if it is in a package 
  • All the ingredients are real foods
  • Never contain artificial substances/poisons like chemicals, flavors, hydrogenated, maltodextrin, sugar, yeast, corn syrup, or other broken parts of whole foods
  • Usually a single, whole ingredient such as fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds

Following a primarily wholesome food diet has shown to enhance blood flow and reduce inflammation within the retina. These two benefits alone target two major factors in the biological deterioration that can lead to macular degeneration. It is a fairly easy fix to embrace an ancestral dietary strategy for macular degeneration yet one of the most difficult to adhere to. Food determines so much in our society and deviating from the ‘meat and potato’ mentality is not only a commitment to your own health, particularly your vision, but it is a commitment to avoiding constant unhealthy influences. This may change your social outlook and habits.

Keeping True to The Past

If you look at the many additives the food industry uses, all they are good for is sustaining foods for long transport and shelf life. Therefore, you are basically compromising your health and especially your vision for the sake of convenience. In Dr. Kobbe’s book, it is explained how many diseases, including macular degeneration, rarely existed one hundred or so years ago. 

According to the Cure AMD foundation, 

“In the 19th century, macular degeneration was extraordinarily rare and remained so up until about 1930. If this disease is truly “age-related,” or a “genetic disease,” as conventional ophthalmology currently believes, why was it rare just 85 years ago?…Somehow, we went from perhaps a few hundred or a few thousand people affected with AMD in 1900 — to around 196 million people affected today.  There were around 1.6 billion people in the world in 1900 and more than 7 billion people in the world today. So while the world’s population increased 4.5-fold between 1900 and 2018, the increase in AMD is thousands of fold greater.”

Comparing these statistics should be a wake-up call to the medical industry, yet it is rare that a practitioner will recommend a radical diet change such as ancestral eating to save you from AMD or other health compromises. Even though there have been many studies that corroborate this data, particularly when applied to the Mediterranean diet which is close to the ancestral diet, conventional medicine is still behind the curve. 

According to the review, ‘Nutritional and Lifestyle Interventions for Age-Related Macular Degeneration’ published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (2017) it was concluded that, 

“Current evidence shows that all AMD patients should be given indications to increase the consumption of green leafy vegetables and to eat fatty fish, at least twice a week. A Mediterranean type of diet may provide additional benefits in other age-related diseases beyond AMD”

Eating ancestral foods that are not processed, packaged or stepped on in many ways (just look at the ingredients) is essential for preventing and, in the beginning stages, even reversing macular degeneration. It may seem difficult, but sticking to the elimination of these foods could significantly enhance your life and increase your healthy vision. 

To protect yourself from AMD cut these ingredients out of your diet right now:

  • Refined white flour
  • Added sugars
  • Polyunsaturated vegetable oils (soybean, corn, canola, cottonseed, rapeseed, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, and rice bran oils)
  • Artificially produced trans fats (hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils)

Copy this list and refer to it while shopping. Keep in mind that it may take time for your body to begin showing a positive response as it has been dealing with these hidden toxins for years. So be patient and soon you may see some beneficial results, especially when you visit your eye doctor. For more information on ancestral dietary strategy for macular degeneration refer to Dr. Kobbe’s book. This covers the statistical connection between food and AMD as well as various ‘sacred foods’ and how to prepare them for optimal healing. 

It doesn’t need to be difficult to prevent or reverse your early AMD without medication. All it does take is a little willpower and about twenty-one days of sticking to a plan. This timeframe is the cornerstone of shedding old habits and in due time, eating an ancestral diet will allow you to experience clean, nutritious food that empowers your mind, body, and especially your vision.