Lutein–Yes, Spinach!–Helps Prevent AMD–the Leading Cause of Severe Vision Loss in the West

Topics: Vitamins and Supplements, Wellness and Health

Spinach may be scary for now, but wait until it gets back on track, because leafy greens help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

New NIH-sponsored data of nearly 1800 women over 10 years show that AMD progression can drop by 43 percent in those under 75 years old and otherwise healthy. The people who had the highest intake of foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin did just that.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are colorful carotenoids, best absorbed with a little bit of healthy fat–saute the spinach in olive oil, cook the collards with a ham bone, stir-fry orange pepper slices and baby corn, and kiss with sesame oil. All those veggies are high in lutein and zeaxanthin. The USDA lists foods high in lutein.

Lutein and zeaxanthin filter out the harmful blue-light part of the sun’s rays, and help prevent damage to your retina, which is where AMD strikes.

The macula is the part of the retina that enables you to see fine detail. 17 million people are blind because of AMD, in the U.S. alone. Risks include smoking, light colored eyes, and high blood pressure.