Can Trick-Or Treating benefit Eye Health? by Dr. Piatt

eye candy

There ARE some TREATS this time of year that absolutely can benefit your eye's health:

•     100 grams of dark chocolate has up to 9.6 mg of zinc.  Cocoa powder has 6.8 mg.

•     Pumpkins seeds, not only are high in zinc, they're also helpful in preventing prostate cancer. They're more beneficial if they're raw rather than roasted, which reduces the zinc intake but in my opinion makes them significantly yummier.

Why do we care about zinc?

The macula has high levels of zinc.  Your macula is the part of your retina that you're using as you read this blog.  Zinc helps vitamin A create melanin, which protects your eye and can improve contrast sensitivity (think improved night vision).

Too little zinc can reduce your immune system, making you more prone to infections.  It can stunt growth, cause diarrhea, impotence, hair loss, eye and skin lesions, and impaired appetite.  Too much zinc can create large amounts of toxic free radicals. The RDA recommends 15 mg of zinc per day.

If you want a fun nutritional TREAT that sadly isn't a Trick, when I did my externship in China many moons ago, I thought how funny it was that their philosophy seemed to be if you have problems with your liver, you should eat liver, and if you have problems with your eyes, you should eat fish eyes etc.  At the time, I remember thinking that sounded a little ridiculous until I pondered it more.  In our eye, we have really high dosages of different pigments/vitamins. For example, lutein and zeaxanthin make up macular pigment.  There's a high concentration of vitamin A in the retina.  And as mentioned before we have Zinc at our macula as well.  These are the supplements (along with other antioxidants) that we recommend to individuals who have at risk retinas or to individuals who don't eat a nutritious diet.  If little fish eyes have the same lutein/zeaxanthin/zinc and vitamin A... maybe China's on to something.  However... I will NOT be
ordering any fresh fish eyes anytime soon. Pass me the chocolate covered pumpkin seeds!

chocolate pumpkin seeds2

#eyehealth #eyecandy #eyenutrition