Most of us are aware of the benefits associated with superfoods. Whether referring to providing our bodies with antioxidants or giving us a much-needed energy boost, there is no doubt that these nutrient-rich substances are worth their weight in gold. However, several new studies suggest that superfoods might actually protect our eyesight from a common age-related ailment. Let’s take a look at what the scientists have found as well as what types of foods are the best to include within a well-balanced diet. These are truly “eye-opening” results!
What Causes Vision Problems Over Time?
As we age, many of us will begin to suffer from poor eyesight. One of the most common forms is known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It is thought that AMD is caused by the damaging wavelengths associated with blue light. Not only does the sun naturally emit blue light, but it is also common when viewing digital devices such as laptop screens and smartphones. A portion of the eye called the macula contains yellow pigments that help to filter out blue wavelengths. Unfortunately, the macula can suffer age-related damage over time. This causes more blue light to enter; resulting in AMD.
How Can Superfoods Help?
In order to understand the role that superfoods can play, we should appreciate that approximately one out of every ten individuals over 65 will suffer from AMD. This rate increases to a staggering three out of ten for those over 75 years of age. One of the best ways to help delay (or prevent) the onset of this condition is to eat foods rich in specific nutritional compounds. Two important substances are known as lutein and zeaxanthin.
While these compounds are found in most naturally occurring foods, the fact of the matter is that they are not often present in sufficient quantities. This is even more true for those who follow a poor diet. A recent study highlighted by Focus Clinics provides some interesting insight as to which foods offer the highest levels of these two lesser-known nutrients.
What are the Best Superfoods to Combat AMD?
There are specific vegetables which are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin. Some foods which have made the top of the list include:
- Cooked kale
- Raw watercress
- Raw spinach
- Green lettuce
Unsurprisingly, these are some of the very same vegetables which have been associated with a number of other healthy benefits ranging from heart health to lower levels of cholesterol. It should therefore come as no surprise that they are also implicated in helping to combat AMD.
Incorporating These Foods into Your Diet
Thankfully, all of these vegetables are quite tasty if prepared properly. It is also best to search for organic varieties, as these tend to be higher in their nutritional content. The power of sight is one of the most splendid gifts that we possess. It only makes sense to protect it at all costs.