Plant-based diet for macular degeneration

Nutrition for macular degeneration

Food recommended for the treatment of macular degeneration

A proper diet can be very suitable for the natural treatment of macular degeneration. It must be a diet based on natural foods, especially rich in flavonoids, vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C and vitamin E.

Avoid toxins, as alcohol or tobacco.

This diet has antioxidant properties and helps eliminate free radicals that can harm your eyes health.


In the treatment of macular degeneration it is recommended eating foods rich in the following components:

Vitamins for macular degeneration

  • Vitamin A for macular degeneration: Vitamin A is needed for seeing well, especially to prevent night blindness which is the lack of vision in low light conditions. Deficiency of vitamin A may even cause this disease. Its antioxidant power is very interesting to keep your eyes in good condition, preventing diseases such as loss of vision, night blindness, glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts,hypermetropia, presbyopia or myopia,. It also helps the eyes to overcome bacterial infections such as conjunctivitis.

Vitamin A rich foods are spinach, carrots, watercress, borage, basil, squash, tomatoes, coriander, asparagus, dandelion, peppers, watermelons, melons, sprouts, bananas, apples, plums, oranges, mangoes, etc.

Foto de zanahorias

Carrots are rich in vitamin A

  • Vitamin C for macular degeneration : In addition to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C is needed for the absorption of vitamin A. Its deficiency causes a weakness in the capillaries.

Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, tangerines, etc.) are very rich. Other plants that contain a lot of this vitamin are: cauliflower, radishes, brussels sprouts, spinach, bananas, apples, melons, watermelons, carrots, pineapples, pears, papayas, barley, garlic, blackberries, celery, peas, strawberries, raspberries, currants, blueberries, grapes, celery, figs, beans, chicory, cranberries, potatoes, avocados, soybeans, custard apples, mangoes, pomegranates, coconuts, etc.


Lemon is rich in vitamin C. It is recommended to squeeze lemon on recipes, salads, infusions,etc.

Vitamin E : Vitamin E protects cell membranes from oxidation by protecting fatty acids. A lack of this vitamin produces degenerative changes in the cells of some tissues. In this sense, vitamin E prevents many eye diseases by neutralizing the action of free radicals.

Plants that have this vitamin are vegetable fats: wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, sunflower oil, toasted almonds and olive oil. Other foods with vitamin E are mangoes and avocados.

Bioflavonoids for macular degeneration

Flavonoids specifically focus on the repair of retinal nerve cells. They also increase blood flow, which brings more nutrients to the eye for the protection of collagen and faster production of rhodopsin, a protein in the rods of the retina responsible for capturing the light. Among the most important ones we can consider lutein and zeaxanthin

Foods high in bioflavonoids are pomegrantes, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, apples, plums, eggplant, purple cabbage, etc.


Pomegranate is rich in bioflavonoids

Essential fatty oils for macular degeneration

Essential fatty acids (Vitamin F) (omega acids group) prevent macular degeneration and help in the formation of vitamin A from carotenes. They are linoleic acid (LA = omega 6) and alpha linolenic acid (= omega 3).

Apart from the blue fish (salmon, sardine, mackerel, tuna, etc) there are some vegetable food that can provide them. The first can be obtained primarily from soybean oil, sunflower, corn oil and wheat germ, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.

The second is obtained primarily from linseed oil, rapeseed and soy, whole grains, vegetables, pumpkin seeds or nuts.

acidos grasos esenciales vitamina e

Essential fatty acids sources


In the treatment of macular degeneration it is not recommended eating the following foods:

  • High-fat animal food: Some studies relate macular degeneration with the high intake of high-fat animal food. This type of food includes animal meat and whole meat and derivatives (whole yogurt, high-fat cheeses, butter, custard, etc.) Following a low-fat diet can be the best way to diminish these unsuitable foods.
  • Caffeine containing foods and beverages: Caffeine can damage your eyes health by diminishing blood flow. Foods or beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, chocolate, colas, etc are not recommended in the diet of macular degeneration.

punto rojo More information about macular degeneration 

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

18 January, 2021

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