- LUTEIN & ZEAXANTHIN: These are main pigments that make up the macular pigment. The best way to get these nutrients is through food or a well-rounded supplement, because they work best in combination with many other nutrients (as discussed below).
Foods high in lutein &/or zeaxanthin: Spinach (very high in lutein!), other dark leafy greens (kale, chard, romaine lettuce), egg yolk, corn, squash, zucchini, oranges & grapes.
- ZINC: The concentration of zinc is higher in the eye that most other tissues, and it is involved in many enzyme reactions involved in visual function. Long term zinc supplementation should be combined with copper supplementation (any form except cupric oxide) in order to prevent a copper deficiency.
Foods high in zinc are: beef, lamb, scallops, sesame & pumpkin seeds, oats, & turkey.
- VITAMIN E: Deficiencies in vitamin E have been shown to affect those with AMD. However it’s important to get mixed-tocopherols through supplementation or food in order to get the maximum antioxidant benefit.
Foods high in vitamin E are: sunflower seeds, almonds, green leafys (spinach, swiss chard) & papaya.
- SELENIUM: Found in high amounts in the retina and is an antioxidant that is important for preventing oxidative damage leading to AMD.
Foods high in selenium are: brazil nuts (very high!), tuna, cod, turkey, chicken, beef, & sunflower seeds.
- FISH OILS: May help to increase uptake of lutein, which increases macular pigment density and protects against AMD.
Best sources of fish oils: wild salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel & anchovies.
- ANTHOCYANIDINS: Found in blueberries, bilberry and other fruits & veggies. These have antioxidant effect specific to the small vessels and delicate tissue of the retina.
Foods high in anthocyanidins: blueberries, red & black grapes, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, red cabbage, red onion & eggplant.