Your questions answered by Jean Blacker

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Q: I’ve always had very good eyesight, but I’m not getting any younger. How can I keep my eyes in tip-top condition?

A: Jean Blacker from Herbafayre says:

You’re right to value your sight; it couldn’t be more precious and like the rest of your body, it too deteriorates with age.

Free radical damage (oxidation) caused by light, smoke, pollution and even a bad diet (hydrogenated fats and alcohol) can lead to poor eyesight, especially as we grow older.

The body makes its own antioxidants to help mop up these free radicals, but it also relies on natural antioxidants in our diet for added protection.

Two natural antioxidants that are particularly important for eyesight are lutein and zeaxanthin. A higher dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin has been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in dark green leafy veggies such as spinach and kale – no surprise there, we all know that vegetables are good for us – but they are also found in marigolds, and in high concentrations, giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘flower power’.

The problem is of course that people generally don’t eat enough vegetables (or marigolds, and quite rightly so), in which case a dietary supplement may be the answer.

A.Vogel’s Vision Complex contains Mexican marigold extract as well as several other peeper-protecting ingredients, including black currant juice powder, carrot juice powder and zinc.

Blackcurrants are a potent source of antioxidants; they have three times the antioxidant potency of blueberries and are also a rich source of vitamin C; carrot juice and carrots contain vitamin A, which is linked to improved vision at night (so yes, carrots can help you to see in the dark) and zinc is especially important for the retina. Take one to two tablets daily with food.

In addition to nutrient support, an eye test at least every two years is very important. For further information ask at your local health shop.