Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration in Women, Study Finds

A Women’s Health Study conducted by William G. Christen, Sc.D. of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston and colleagues has concluded that the regular consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women by 42%!

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in senior citizens, primarily affecting "central vision." Your central vision allows you to see objects clearly in fine detail and do such tasks as driving, reading and writing. Sometimes, AMD will creep up slowly–so slowly that you won’t even notice your eyesight beginning to falter. Other times, it can happen quickly and ultimately result in the loss of vision in both eyes. But you can take steps right now to stop AMD in its tracks, and reduce your risk.

The study reported that women who ate fish once or more per week had a 42% lower risk of age-related macular degeneration than those who ate fish less than once per month. I know you men are probably saying "Hey! What about me?" and I have good news for you, too. Fish (and the omega-3 fatty acids it provides) has also been proven to be very beneficial for cardiovascular health and to lower triglycerides for men AND women over 50. A healthy heart, better cholesterol and clear vision is a winning combination for this superfood.

Fatty fish like albacore tuna, canned light tuna, sardines, lake trout, mackerel, salmon and herring are the most beneficial and also carry a lower risk of mercury poisoning. These fish also have the added benefit of being a great, clean source of protein without a lot of saturated fats. Fresh fish it always best, but you can find delicious frozen fish entrees in the freezer section of your grocery store too. Keep it healthy by broiling or grilling instead of deep frying, and use low-sodium seasonings, lemon juice and fresh herbs for fantastic flavor.

Here are some delicious, healthy recipes to get you started:
Soy Glazed Salmon with Watercress Salad
Grilled Tuna with Cherry-Tomato Salad and Herbed Bulghur
Smoked Mackerel, Cucumber and Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

But of course, remember that it’s always important to stay current on all of your health check-ups, and that includes your eye doctor. Regular check ups can help to detect age-related macular degeneration before it leads to vision loss.

For more information on the study, click here.

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