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Posted on 05-29-2015

Avocado’s Constant

May 29, 2015 by Hansel M Huang

I am getting older.

Obviously that is something that we all can say, but what I mean is, I am feeling older.

I recently attended our 10-year reunion and I had an amazing time seeing old friends, old professors, and the old campus. (And yes, I do recognize just how frivolously I used the word “old”).  But 10 years!

In that decade, I got married, got a cat, got a dog, had our first daughter, and had our second daughter. The two constants in those 10 years were the seemingly endless student loan payments and getting older. Now please don’t think that this wasn’t fun, it was…it is. Having two great wonderful daughters has really changed my outlook on life. I also was lucky enough to open an office with my best friend since 6th grade. Not many people can say that!

But 10 years!

So in the past year or so, I made an effort to get back in shape and lose some of the past decade that seems to have stretched out some shirts.

Now we’ve always felt we had a healthy diet, but when we started to really pay attention to each meal, my wife and I realized we could always eat healthier.

One new staple to our diet was avocado. Our daughters have always loved avocados, but for whatever reason, the adults in our home just didn’t eat them. So when I read about the health benefits of the avocado, I decided to add it to my daily meals.

Avocados have many benefits when it comes to health. They help improve cholesterol levels and help with weight control. They also contain xanthophylls, which may have antioxidant properties. They may help in osteoarthritis and may even play a role in some cancer treatments1.

However, when I came across an article that showed a potential benefit of avocados and eye health, I got pretty excited. Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin1, which play an important role in macular degeneration treatment2,3. This is not to say that eating avocados should replace any vitamins specifically recommended for age-related-macular-degeneration4, but for those that want to improve their diet and have specific vision concerns, this is a great addition to any diet, plus they taste great!

A lot of my patients will ask me what they can do to improve ocular health. A lot of times they may joke that they eat carrots. My default answer when it comes to food is to have a regular diet of salmon, blueberries, and spinach. Now I can easily add another one to that list…avocados.

References:

  1. Dreher, M.L., and Davenport, A.J. 2013. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 53(7), 738-750.
  2. Huang, Y., Dou, H., Huang, F., Xu, X., Zou, Z., and Lin, X. 2015. Effect of Supplemental Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Serum, Macular Pigmentation, and Visual Performance in Patients with Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration. BioMed Research Corporation, 2015.
  3. Hobbs, R.P., and Bernstein, P.S. 2014. Nutrient Supplementation for Age-related Macular Degeneration, Cataract, and Dry Eye. J Ophthalmic Vis Res, 9(4), 487-493.
  4. Sulich, A., Hamulka, J., and Nogal, D. 2015. Dietary Sources of Lutein in Adults Suffereing Eye Disease (AMD/Cataracts).  Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig, 66(1), 55-60.

About Dr. Hansel M Huang
Dr. Huang graduated from Optometry School at NOVA Southeastern University in 2005. Learning to balance work and family life, his two daughters helped him recognize that the balance was more than just time management, but an entire lifestyle commitment. He enjoys working with patients, especially those that want to learn more about their own eyes, past simply having glasses. Call our office to book your comprehensive eye exam now, or better yet, book online through our website.

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