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News2015October › Carrots and spinach help keep your eyesight sharp › October 2015

Carrots and spinach help keep your eyesight sharp

Your grandmother was right: carrots are good for your sight (even if they don't quite help you see in the dark)

Your grandmother was right: carrots are good for your sight (even if they don't quite help you see in the dark). In fact, all the colourful, carotenoid-rich vegetables, which also include spinach and sweet potatoes, help protect us against failing eyesight as we get older.

A major new study has found that the carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of AMD (age-related macular degeneration) by 35 per cent. AMD is the major cause of failing sight and blindness as we age.

Researchers made the discovery when they analysed the health and diets of 102,046 participants in the Nurses' Health Study.

The greatest protective effect was among those who ate the most carrots, tomatoes, spinach, oranges and other vegetables and fruits rich in the carotenoids, pigments that give the foods their distinctive colouring, and which can be converted by the body into vitamin A. The two most beneficial carotenoids are lutein and zeaxanthin, the researchers found.

(Source: JAMA Ophthalmol, 2015: published online, October 8, 2015)


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