Protect your eyes with diet

October 07, 2010

Over 1.75 million people in the U.S. are affected by age-related macular degeneration and as baby-boomers age, that number will increase.  The good news is, a few simple dietary additions can minimize or prevent the loss of sight caused through macular degeneration. In a recent study, researchers followed more than 4,500 people aged 60 to 80. Those who ate foods full of the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin -- two carotenoid pigments that color yellow and green produce -- had a 35% less chance of developing macular degeneration.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants which are particularly potent against macular degeneration. Zeaxanthin concentration is highest in yellow corn, yellow and orange peppers, winter squashes, carrots, yams, cantaloupe, peaches, grapes, oranges, mangos and nectarines.  Lutein is most abundant in greens, A good rule of thumb is, the darker the green, the greater the lutein content. Aim for a minimum of three green servings and three yellow servings daily. These two fat-soluble nutrients are also found in egg yolks, so that spinach omelet with peppers really is a sight for soothing sore eyes!

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