Macular Degeneration: Healing Foods and Night Vision Risk

Macular Degeneration: Healing Foods and Night Vision Risk

Progress in combating macular degeneration practically occurs daily. From new technology, stem cells, and prosthetics to vitamin supplements, herbal remedies and nutritional benefits. 

Nutritional benefits that include healing foods have been continually studied with many foods linked to direct retinal support. When your retina receives nutritional assistance, maintaining these dietary choices could be paramount in preserving healthy vision well into your old age. Add in some telltale signs to look for such as sudden difficulty seeing at night and how certain nutrients may assist with such compromises and you could set yourself ahead of the curve. 

Sometimes all it takes is adding or subtracting certain foods or vitamins and something as devastating as macular degeneration may never darken your day. These healing foods and night vision risk show some easy ways you can keep your sight in the best health possible without resorting to a pharmaceutical approach. 

Avocado and Macular Pigment Density

Getting more avocado into your diet can enhance your health on many levels. The high nutrient content in this pear shaped fruit that includes folic acid and essential fatty acids does your body good. 

According to research published in Nutrients (2017), scientists at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA found that the high lutein content in avocados may significantly enhance healthy vision in older adults. Lutein along with zeaxanthin are substantial carotenoids zeaxanthin able to cross the blood/brain barrier and collect in the macular section of the retina. 

It was concluded that,

“This study is an example of how practical dietary choices can be of benefit to healthy aging. A dietary intervention with avocados was particularly effective in increasing MPD [macular pigment density]  levels, a biomarker of brain lutein.”

The study also goes on to show increased cognitive functioning due to avocado consumption as well. If you eat plenty of these green gurus good for you but if avocado is not your thing, give it another try. There’s plenty of ways to prepare it, with avocado toast currently being a popular dish complete with options of egg, jalapeño, or even feta cheese toppings. 

Little Bits Of recommends this recipe for a unique avocado dish.

Bruschetta Stuffed Grilled Avocado


1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1-2 cloves crushed garlic (depending on how garlicky you like!)

large pinch of salt

fresh cracked pepper

2 avocados


Mix tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt & pepper in a bowl and toss until combined. Cut avocados in half and remove the pit. Fire up your grill or pan and cook the avocados until lightly charred. Scoop mixture into avocados and serve with sliced baguette.

Vitamin A Supports Night Vision 

Having difficulty seeing in the dark is experienced by most but, once adjusted, you should be able to see okay at night. Once this ability begins to noticeably diminish it could indicate a macular degeneration malfunction. 

“…assessing night vision symptoms may be useful in identifying patients with early or intermediate AMD [age-related macular degeneration] who are at relatively high risk of progression.”

If you are experiencing night vision see your eye doctor for a checkup. In the meantime, eating more foods that contain vitamin A may help. An archived study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology reported that 

“Disturbances in night vision have long been associated with vitamin A deficiency. Numerous cases of night blindness have been reported to arise from malnutrition, malabsorption of vitamin A.”

Foods high in vitamin A include: 

  • Liver
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Goat cheese

If you are a vegan/vegetarian there are plant-based foods high in provitamin A which the body converts into vitamin A. However, according to a report by Healthline, “45% of people carry a genetic mutation that significantly reduces their ability to convert provitamin A into vitamin A,” so check with your doctor for your status. 

Once you get the all clear, here are some provitamin A foods sources:

  • Sweet potato
  • Squash
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Papaya
  • Apricot
  • Nectarine

Orange You Glad You Don’t Have AMD?

It took 15 years but finally, in July of 2018, a macular degeneration study involving more than two thousand people monitored over fifteen years as come to light. It turns out that the study found a direct correlation between eating oranges and macular degeneration

According to Lead Researcher Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath from the University of Sydney, 

“Essentially we found that people who eat at least one serving of an orange every day have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who never eat oranges,”

The study examined many foods that contain flavonoids. Flavonoids are potent antioxidants found in most fruits and vegetables linked to anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. Some of the top contenders were tea leaves, apples, red wine and oranges however no other food source was associated with protecting the eyes except oranges. 

Professor Gopinath continued, 

“The data shows that flavonoids found in oranges appear to help protect against the disease…Even eating an orange once a week seems to offer significant benefits.”

Try to add an orange per day (or week) to your diet so your future vision stays strong. Choosing organic oranges could be more beneficial as non-organic oranges may not be as potent due to varied, synthetic manipulation including strong pesticides and genetically modified seeds. 

Staying on top of your vision is essential. These and many other plant-based foods have shown, over and over, the enormous benefits contributed to human health. Animal products should be consumed sparingly as too many in your diet have been linked to more possibility of future disease. These studies of avocados, oranges, and provitamin A choices are more proof of how you can easily avoid a future of possible blindness. All it takes is some simple changes and you just may feel the difference, not only in your vision but systemically as well.