New research provides further evidence that substances in kale, spinach and other green vegetables help protect aging eyes from cataracts.
In an experiment, investigators found that human eye cells treated with antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin showed less damage after being exposed to ultraviolet rays, the sunlight ingredient considered a major contributor to cataracts. Cataracts occur when proteins in the eye's lens begin to clump together, forming a milky cloud that obscures vision. Currently, around 20 million Americans have cataracts, and research suggests that the more sunlight you are exposed to in life, the greater your risk.
It's hard to say how much of each antioxidant people should get in their diets, given that little is known about how antioxidants in the bloodstream reach the eyes, study author Dr. Joshua A. Bomser told Reuters Health. "While the specific experiments haven't been done...we know generally: eat more fruits and vegetables," he said.
Foods that contain particularly high doses of lutein and zeaxanthin include kale, collard greens, broccoli, turnip greens and spinach.
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