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Jamie Foxx’s song “Blame it” encourages blaming alcohol for all ruined relationships, unsafe situations, and perceived enhancement of other’s attractiveness. Outside of the many issues and poor decisions can that can result from a night of boozing, including a high credit card bill, higher risk for accidents, and even a 2am Taco Bell run…there are more. During Covid-19, some are hitting the wine and beer harder.
Let’s review the basics: alcohol interferes with communication between nerve cells and all other cells in the body. Moderation (the amount considered to not contribute to any major health concerns) for the average woman is defined by the CDC as not more than one drink per day and for the average man as not having more than two.
A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics asserts, “there has been an increase in the proportion of US adults who drink on any given day and an increase in calories consumed from alcoholic beverages when drinking occurs.”
What effect is this having on us from a weight loss perspective? Or a liver-health one?
Now we appreciate the humor some of you bring to our appointments:
“I think I’m drinking enough water. There’s water in beer, right?”
“I’m not too concerned. It’s called a liver, not a die-er”
“Wine-o? Maybe; I prefer ‘wine-yes'”
With alcoholic beverages being among the top five contributors to total caloric intake among US adults, this is something we need to talk about. But beyond calories, here are more reasons to explore your relationship with alcohol:
A tremendous connection exists between eating healthier and weight loss, cardiovascular health, managing blood sugar, and even eye health. Many people wait until their eyesight deteriorates in order to start making changes, but nutrition is a powerful form of preventative medicine which can help protect the eyes from disease and age-related vision loss.
By adding vital nutrients into the diet, you can start fighting the effects of aging and oxidation in the body – including the eyes. Start building up the nutrient supply by focusing on fulfilling the daily fruit and vegetable requirements of five to nine servings per day. Green leafy vegetables are an important food source for a wide array of nutrients that can improve eye health, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. In addition to turnip greens, kale, and collards, another good source of lutein is found in eggs. According to the Journal of Nutrition, eating an egg a day can boost both lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the bloodstream.
- Vitamin C can help keep eyes healthy by providing protection from the UV-damage of sun exposure. Good sources of vitamin C include strawberries, raspberries, mango, apples, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Vitamin E helps with scavenging the free radicals and can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Sunflower oil, wheat germ, and almond butter are some beneficial foods with this vitamin.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the entire body and the eyes need this anti-inflammatory nutrient as well. Eating omega-3s from wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, or supplements can help.
- In general, avoiding processed, sugary foods, unhealthy fat sources, while maintaining a healthy weight and blood sugar levels (diabetes have a higher risk of blindness), will also help prevent eye disease.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the developed countries. Macular degeneration is linked to free radicals and homocysteine levels. The passionate work of One Bite Wellness revolves around identifying genetic markers, creating a customized nutrition plan, including more antioxidants and regulating homocysteine levels, and deep-cleaning diets in a way that allows clients to experience a delicious and sustainable manner of eating.
The bottom line is to remember that the foods that are beneficial to the body are also good for the eyes. Quality water, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy protein sources, and fiber are all important for maintaining overall health.