MISSION: END PREVENTABLE BLINDNESS

Food For Dry Eyes | Using Diet To Cure Dry Eye Syndrome

Exercise Educational handout

Foods To Help Dry Eyes | What Are The Best Foods To Eat For Dry Eyes?

Food can be the ultimate source of healing or the ultimate destruction of your body. Once you clear away the junk that’s clogging your body from years of poor diet (by the way, it’s not your fault... it’s the government, big pharma, and factory farms), you will unclog your mind as well.  You’ll be able to tap into your healthiest and happiest you.

All of this starts with plants!

A healthy, plant-based diet is the consumption of nutrient-dense plant foods while minimizing processed foods, oils, and animal foods (including dairy products and eggs). It encourages lots of vegetables (cooked or raw), fruits, beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, seeds, and nuts.

Plants help balance our hormones, maintain a stable blood sugar and pressure, and generally fuel all of our systems in a cleaner, more efficient way.  Plant-based foods are nature’s way of giving us sun-powered health at its most delicious. There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods - including protein and iron - that aren’t better provided by plants.  They can supercharge your body, reduce diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and help you live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Research done by Drs. T Colin Campbell, Caldwell B Esselstyn Jr., and John McDougall have shown that changing diet to include more plant based foods and less animal-based foods can help you live longer, feel younger, lose weight, have more energy, preserve your eyesight, keep your mind sharp, and have a more vibrant sex life.  They also discuss that it can eliminate your need for pharmaceutical drugs, especially for treating things like depression, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Fiber

Fiber is at the top of the list of health benefits of plants.  Fiber helps “scrub” our intestines clean of all the junk that inhabits them on a daily basis.  Since we don’t digest fiber, it helps move things along from entrance to exit, but also absorbs chemicals and toxins along the way out.  A lack of fiber can cause constipation, bloating, hemorrhoids, gas, and diseases like intestinal or colon cancer.

The more fiber you eat the lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and rectal and colon cancer.  

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, act like shields that soak up invaders and keep them from harming the plants’ tissues.  Our bodies cannot fight against these free radicals, industrial pollutants, or toxins hiding in animal foods. These cause our bodies and tissues to start breaking down, which can lead to Alzheimer’s, dementia, cataracts, hardening of the arteries, cancer, emphysema, and arthritis.  If we eat plants, they lend us their powers to fight these toxins. Each plant has its own fighting ability, which is why a variety of plants is key to your diet.

A side bonus of phytochemicals is that they help with wrinkles by protecting your skin from damage and helping your skin produce more collagen.  Whole grains are packed with B-complex vitamins which help with glowing skin.

Carotenoids are responsible for giving fruits and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers their bright orange, yellow, and red hues. A few types of carotenoids, including zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene, play a critical role in maintaining eye health.  They benefit our eyes by guarding against vision loss, while improving one’s ability to see colors and fine detail. Additionally they also play a role in protecting our eyes against damaging effects of UV light we encounter outdoors as well as blue light from our computers, phones, tablets, and TVs.  

Susan Levin, MD, RD, staff dietician with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says

“Women who follow vegan diets are often healthier than [those] who consume meat, thanks to eating lower levels of saturated fats (BAD omega-6’s, more on this later) and cholesterol and higher levels of fiber, folate, and cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals.”

Let’s dive into inflammation and what it causes.

Chronic (Long-Standing) Inflammation

Inflammation is a BIG deal.  Most disease is some form of inflammation, so battling inflammation is a key component to battling your dry eye and other eye diseases.  An estimated 80% of visits to doctor’s offices are for issues relating to a chronic disease, which stems from chronic inflammation of the body.  The CDC states that 7 out of every 10 Americans die of chronic disease.

According to Dr. Mercola in the article How Inflammation Affects Every Aspect of Your Health,

“The presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual.  It can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant… One could also argue that without inflammation most disease would not even exist…. The fact that your immune system drives the inflammatory process in disease is well established.  Unfortunately Western medicine offers little in the way of actual answers as to managing or overcoming the Autoimmune process… The typical approach to therapy is generally to suppress the immune response with Immune suppressive agents or sometimes steroids (Restasis and Xiidra perform this way for dry eye).  Both approaches are designed to reduce inflammation but neither stops the underlying disease processes or allows for damaged tissues to regenerate… Unless you turn OFF the actual cause of fire (inflammation), all you have done is postponed the inevitable and potentially destroyed more of the building (your body) in the process, by allowing the fire (inflammation) to smolder in a subclinical fashion.”

 

Let’s also look at the DEWS II (The Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society’s Dry Eye Workshop in 2017) definition of dry eye, in which it states that inflammation is one of the key reasons for dry eye.

“Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film, and accompanied by ocular symptoms, in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, ocular surface inflammation and damage, and neurosensory abnormalities play etiological roles,”

Short Term Effects of Inflammation on the Body

  • Dry Eye
  • Headache
  • Fatigue – feeling tired
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stiff neck and shoulder pain
  • Back pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweaty palms and feet
  • Upset stomach
  • Depression

Long Term Effects of Inflammation on the Body

Meat is loaded with saturated fat, which contributes to the following chronic conditions:

  • Dry Eye
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Heart Attacks
  • Strokes
  • Heart Disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • Psoriasis and Eczema
  • Osteoporosis
  • Digestive conditions such as colitis and diverticulitis

#1 Way To Reduce Inflammation: Plant-Based Alkalizing Diet

Katherine Thurer, MD explains “Diet is HUGE! It has an enormous role in every aspect of our health across the board.  Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet is the number one thing I recommend.”

The quote above sums up the importance of eating to combat inflammation. Plants have an incredible alkalizing effect on the body, which fights inflammation.  A diet high in whole plant foods can help rebalance the body’s estrogen levels since all that fiber helps rid the body of excess substances it doesn’t need, including detoxified hormones.  Plant-based diets can also reverse obesity, which is linked to diabetes and high blood pressure.

Breakfast and Lunch Green Smoothie Chart

**Make sure to download the handout above for a PDF of the charts below!

We often eat a green smoothie for breakfast and lunch, which will start your day with a ton of antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and alkalizing foods to give your body a boost and make you feel full and productive.  It will also give you a boost after lunch and NOT that tired, food “coma” feeling that you usually have.


GREEN SMOOTHIE CHART

Some Helpful Tips (Makes 1 large blender/2 servings)

  • For the liquid base, you want 1 cup of filtered water and 1 cup of one of the following: Coconut Water, Coconut Milk, or Almond Milk
  • Blend in stages - liquid + greens first, then add everything else (we just throw it all together)
  • Organic Frozen Fruit is great for the second column.  Then you do not need to add ice.
  • Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners (use bananas, mango, apples, pears, dates instead)
  • Make them ahead of time for lunches, snacks, and when you need a quick fix.
  • T. = Tablespoon (you can use a normal spoon from your kitchen)

Pick Yours Greens

2-3 cups total

2-3 handfuls

Pick 2 For Flavor

2-3 cups total

Pick 2 Healthy Fats

Flavor Enhancers & Health Boosters

Spinach

Kale

Hearts of Romaine

Raw Broccoli

Bok Choy

Swiss Chard

Collards

Dandelion

Boston Lettuce

Strawberries

Blueberries

Blackberries

Raspberries

Mango

Banana

No Sugar Added Pitted Dates

No Sugar Added Apricots

No Sugar Added Raisins

Grapes

Apple

Peeled Orange

Melon

Pineapple

Cucumber

 

½ Avocado

2-3 T. Flax Seeds

2-3 T. Chia Seeds

2-3 T. Hemp Seeds

1 T. Coconut Oil

1 -2 T. Almond Butter

½ cup Walnuts

½ cup Almonds

½ cup Sunflower Seeds

½ cup Sesame Seeds

½ cup Pine Nuts

½ cup Brazil Nuts

½ cup Pecans

½ cup Pumpkin Seeds



1 Scoop Protein Powder

1 Scoop Greens Powder

(or an All-In-One Powder)


OPTIONAL

½ cup Frozen Cauliflower

1-2 T. Cacao Powder

1-2 T. Cinnamon

1-2 T. Acai Powder’

1 T. Celtic Sea Salt

1-2 T. Nutritional Yeast

1-2 T. Local Honey

½ Lemon Squeezed

½ Lime Squeezed

1 t. of various spices like Turmeric, Ginger, Cloves






Other Lunch Ideas

We usually do a green smoothie for lunch as well, but wanted to give you some other options.  If we don’t eat a green smoothie for lunch, we usually stick with a salad or vegetarian yogurt mixture.


LUNCH SALAD CHART (serves 1)

Some Helpful Tips

  • ALWAYS buy organic when possible.  
    • An example is with spinach.  You lose almost 90% of nutrients when buying traditional spinach vs organic spinach. Plus there are over 52 pesticides found on traditional spinach.
  • For Dressing, do NOT use ready-made dressing as they contain bad fats. Just use the vinegar of your choice (I love putting a little hot sauce on as well)
    • Balsamic Vinegar
    • Local Honey + Mustard
    • Tabasco Sauce or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • Add a little fruit to enhance the flavor as well (just not too much)
    • Apples slices, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, no sugar added pitted dates, dried apricots, or raisins
  • Save Meat (if you must eat it) for dinner only… Your body will thank you!
  • T. = Tablespoon (You can use a normal spoon from your kitchen)

Pick Yours Greens

2-3 cups total

Proteins

1 cup total

Pick 1-2 Healthy Fats

Pick 1-5 Veggies

NO LIMIT

Spinach

Kale

Hearts of Romaine

Raw Broccoli

Bok Choy

Swiss Chard

Collards

Dandelion

Boston Lettuce

BEANS - Pick 1

Navy Beans

Chickpeas

Black Beans

Cannellini Beans

Red Kidney Beans

Lentils

Firm tofu

Edamame


GRAINS - Pick 1

Quinoa

Millet

Spelt

Brown Rice

 

½ Avocado

2-3 T. Flax Seeds

2-3 T. Chia Seeds

2-3 T. Hemp Seeds

½ cup Walnuts

½ cup Almonds

½ cup Sunflower Seeds

½ cup Sesame Seeds

½ cup Pine Nuts

½ cup Brazil Nuts

½ cup Pecans

½ cup Pumpkin Seeds

Broccoli

Tomato

Carrots

Celery

Asparagus

Green Beans

Corn

Cauliflower

Cucumber

Mushrooms

Peppers

Zucchini

Squash

Peas

Sweet Potato

Nori


 


LUNCH YOGURT CHART (serves 1)

Some Helpful Tips

  • Do NOT buy the flavored yogurt as it contains a TON of artificial sugars and sweeteners
  • T. = Tablespoon (You can use a normal spoon from your kitchen)

Pick Your Yogurt


½ to 1 cup

Pick 2 For Flavor


½ to 1 cup total

Pick 1-2 Healthy Fats

Flavor Enhancers

& Health Boosters

Greek Yogurt

Coconut Yogurt

Soy Yogurt


(NO FLAVOR,

PLAIN)

Strawberries

Blueberries

Blackberries

Raspberries

Mango

Banana

No Sugar Added Pitted Dates

No Sugar Added Apricots

No Sugar Added Raisins

Grapes

Apple

Peeled Orange

Melon

Pineapple

Cucumber

Kiwi

 

½ Avocado

2-3 T. Flax Seeds

2-3 T. Chia Seeds

2-3 T. Hemp Seeds

½ cup Walnuts

½ cup Almonds

½ cup Sunflower Seeds

½ cup Sesame Seeds

½ cup Pine Nuts

½ cup Brazil Nuts

½ cup Pecans

½ cup Pumpkin Seeds

1 Scoop Protein Powder

1 Scoop Greens Powder

(or an All-In-One Powder)


OPTIONAL

1-2 T. Cacao Powder

1-2 T. Cinnamon

1-2 T. Acai Powder’

1 T. Celtic Sea Salt

1-2 T. Nutritional Yeast

1-2 T. Local Honey

½ Lemon Squeezed

½ Lime Squeezed

1 t. of various spices like Turmeric, Ginger, Cloves


 

Ideas for Dinner

This chart can be made into stir-fry, soup, or eaten raw (except meat) as in a salad or bowl.

DINNER CHART (serves 1)

Some Helpful Tips

  • Save Meat (if you must eat it) for dinner only… Your body will thank you!
  • Soup? Put all these ingredients in a crock pot or regular pot and add vegetable broth for a tasty soup
    • Add fermented Miso paste for probiotic addition, just make sure it’s made from barley and aged at least 2 years (the powdered stuff isn’t the same).
  • Stir-Fry?  Put all these ingredients in a pan and fry them up! Serve with rice or quinoa.
  • T. = Tablespoon (You can use a normal spoon from your kitchen)
  • Meat (not recommended) can be substituted in the bean section below
    • Organic, grass-fed, free range meat: Lean ground turkey, beef, or chicken
    • Wild salmon, wild tuna, or wild shrimp
    • Organic, free-range eggs (hard-boiled, scrambled, over-easy)

Base of Greens

2-3 cups total

Cooked or Raw

Proteins

1-2 cups total

Pick 1-2 Healthy Fats

Pick 1-5 Veggies


NO LIMIT

Flavor Enhancers & Health Boosters & Dressing

- Pick 1-3 to add

Spinach

Kale

Hearts of Romaine

Raw Broccoli

Bok Choy

Swiss Chard

Collards

Dandelion

Boston Lettuce

Mustard Greens

Watercress

BEANS - Pick 1

Navy Beans

Chickpeas

Black Beans

Cannellini Beans

Red Kidney Beans

Lentils

Firm tofu

Edamame


GRAINS - Pick 1

Quinoa

Millet

Spelt

Brown Rice

 

2-3 T. Flax Seeds

2-3 T. Chia Seeds

2-3 T. Hemp Seeds

½ cup Walnuts

½ cup Almonds

½ cup Sunflower Seeds

½ cup Sesame Seeds

½ cup Pine Nuts

½ cup Brazil Nuts

½ cup Pecans

½ cup Pumpkin Seeds

Broccoli

Tomato

Carrots

Celery

Asparagus

Green Beans

Corn

Cauliflower

Cucumber

Mushrooms

Peppers

Zucchini

Squash

Peas

Sweet Potato

Nori

Hijiki

Arame

Wakame

Kombu

Sauerkraut

Kimchi

Nutritional Yeast

Lemon Juice

Sesame Seeds

Balsamic Vinegar

Local Honey

Mustard

Tabasco Sauce

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Hummus


DO NOT USE

Ketchup

Mayonaise

Miracle Whip

Salad Dressing (Ranch)

BBQ Sauce

Ideas for Snacks

Snacking can also be a healthy choice when done smart.  Some of our favorite snacks include:

Ideas for Desserts

There are SO many sweet desserts in nature, you just choose to reach for the cookies, cakes, brownies, candy, and ice cream instead.  What about all the fruits of this world?  Frozen organic grapes, strawberries, blueberries or fresh, organic, ripe blackberries, cherries, or raspberries.  


Nature’s dessert is fruit, feel free to indulge in moderation when a sweet tooth craving hits!


Banana “ice cream” is very easy to make.  Take a banana and slice it up.  Place in freezer for 24 hours.  Put slices along with a splash of almond milk into a food processor and blend until smooth, adding almond milk as needed.  Add any healthy flavor boosters to make the flavor you want.  This includes protein powder, greens powder, cacao powder, cinnamon, acai powder, local honey, and lemon or lime squeezed. You can also add other frozen fruit, like blueberries.
Enjoy!

 

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Heyedrate, Dry Eye Treatment, Exercise

Dr. Travis Zigler

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