Q. Dear Terry, “The wind and cold weather really bother my eyes. I don’t wear glasses or contacts, but I’ve noticed that my eyes get a little dry and scratchy this time of year. I tried eye drops in the past and didn’t notice much improvement. Is there a natural way to help my eyes?”– Jakob S., Ontario, Canada
A. Dear Jakob, To function normally, our eyes need constant moisture and lubrication. Factors like being at a computer all day, working outside, wind, dust, allergies, and certain prescription medications can all cause irritation and dryness. When moisture levels decrease, pain and discomfort can follow.
Having the right balance of fatty acids is truly essential to our health in many ways, and this includes healthy skin and mucous membranes. Many people are familiar with omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, but did you know there is an omega-7? In nature, there are only a few sources of the rare omega-7 fatty acid and the science on this subject is exploding. There are excellent studies demonstrating the ability of omega-7, when taken internally, to reduce eye dryness.
The omega-7 I recommend comes from a plant called sea buckthorn. The seed, pulp, and skin of the sea buckthorn berry are packed with over 200 nutrients, including antioxidant tocopherols, beta-carotene, phytosterols, and omega fatty acids. Omega-7 comprises about 50% of the sea buckthorn berry’s fatty acid content, making it one of the most valuable nutrient sources of palmitoleic acid you can find. However, not all sea buckthorn products contain omega-7 fatty acids. That’s because omega-7 is found only in the pulp of the berry, not the seed oil.
I would suggest taking sea buckthorn that contains both the seed oil and pulp three times daily. You could take this sea buckthorn every day to be most effective, or just during the winter months. Also, look for a product that has clinical studies so you know it is safe and effective.
Terry . . . Naturally
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