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The eyes may be the window to the soul, but the liver is the key to their well-being. So, if your eyes are acting up, you may want to take a look at your liver. Yes, that’s right – the liver.
According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the liver meridian supports the free flow of energy and circulation throughout the eyes, making it responsible for healthy vision. So any eye issue is really a reflection of liver function.
Remember, your liver is your key to life. It is regarded as the nucleus of metabolism in the human body, and it metabolizes proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and other substances. A healthy liver keeps the blood clean and purified and therefore directly improves eyesight.
But unfortunately, disorders of the liver also may lead to eye diseases. So it makes perfect sense that when we re-establish a healthy liver, we directly nurture healthy vision. Liver-loving nutrients will keep your liver running smoothly and promote its detoxification—for optimum vision and overall health.
One of the key processes by which the liver eliminates toxins is known as sulfation. One of the first things you want to do is make sure you are including enough sulfur-rich foods in the diet, which include garlic, onion, eggs, and daikon radish. In addition, you may also want to supplement with powerful liver healers, which include artichoke, asparagus, beets, celery, and dandelion root tea.
Artichokes, especially the hearts, contain powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids that protect the liver’s cells and tissues including the eyes. The artichoke is a close relative of milk thistle, queen of the liver protectors, which offers major defense against free radicals. But unlike milk thistle, which is highly allergy producing for many that are also reactive to ragweed, most individuals tolerate artichokes exceptionally well.
Asparagus contains high amounts of vitamin A and potassium, another mineral on which the liver depends during detox.
Beets are full of betaine, which helps protect the liver against the damaging effects of alcohol. Betaine also thins the bile and helps it move freely within the bile ducts.
Dandelion root stimulates liver function. It also contains inulin, a fiber-like substance that functions as a prebiotic—an element that helps nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut.
Liver-Lovin Formula is my go-to liver support supplement, which I personally take daily to keep my liver healthy. It contains the following nutrients:
• Artichoke (300 mg) – a well-known liver healer, loaded with antioxidants to help move toxins through the liver’s detox pathways and boost bile production.
• Chlorophyll (500 mg) – rich in purifying magnesium to further enhance elimination.
• Taurine (250 mg) – an amino acid that boosts the liver’s production of bile to aid in fat digestion and absorption.
Now let’s talk about targeted strategies to help your eyes with the most prevalent and common eye conditions.
Cataracts are one of the most common eye diseases and a leading cause of legal blindness. They are a clouding of the lens of the eye, caused by damage from free radicals that result in oxidation and aging in a process similar to hardening of the arteries.
Vitamin C – Did you know that cataracts have been called “scurvy of the eye” because research has shown that cataracts begin when the body becomes deficient in Vitamin C. The sclera of the eye especially relies on Vitamin C for good health. The Vitamin C supplement I recommend is Time-C from UNI KEY.
Glutathione – This potent antioxidant is paramount for eye health. Eyes with cataracts have been found to have less than 25 percent the amount of glutathione that a healthy, normal lens has and restoring optimal levels is essential for healthy eyes. Include glutathione rich foods like asparagus and avocado.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss over age 50, and researchers have found a strong link to nutrition in stopping its progression. AMD often goes unnoticed in its early stages; it’s not until the more severe symptoms show up, like central vision loss, objects becoming blurry or distorted, or straight lines looking wavy that people start to notice there’s a problem. For healthy aging of your eyes, researchers have found taurine is especially important for those with AMD. In addition, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, taken daily, is helpful in preventing and slowing the progression of AMD.
More and more, I am hearing about people with floaters. Floaters are seeing dark specks, strings, or even cobweb-looking objects drifting through your field of vision that seem to dart away quickly when you blink or move your eyes. The vitreous fluid, which fills about 80 percent of the eye and creates its round shape, shrinks as we age and becomes somewhat stringy, casting shadows and creating these floaters.
I’ve found liquid MSM drops with vitamin C to be the best natural eye remedy for this common problem. Just one drop in each eye a few times daily is all it takes. MSM has been shown to repair damaged tissues in the eye while improving circulation, making them more permeable and allowing nutrients to pass through more easily. It also helps remove tissue particles and clear floaters. I use and recommend the Dexterity Health brand.
Eyes thrive in moist conditions; so dry eyes are not just uncomfortable but also make the surface of the eye more prone to injury. But it’s not just the amount of tears you produce that matters – it’s also the quality of those tears. If you are producing poor quality tears because of nutrient deficiencies, they will evaporate faster causing that gritty, dry feeling that irritates your eyes.
The best nutrients to restore good quality moisture to your eyes are Omega-3 fats. Multiple studies have shown that a single daily dose of Omega-3 from supplements like UNI KEY Health’s Super-EPA increased the quality and quantity of tears and reduced the symptoms of dry eye in as little as three weeks.
To sum it all up, keeping your liver clean and healthy is equivalent to eating right for your sight. Eating foods that benefit your liver will also benefit your eyes.