Monday, May 11, 2015

Eye Health and Lutein

Macular degeneration runs in my family so I am proactive about eye health. Enter lutein, a carotenoid vitamin related to beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Often thought of as the eye vitamin, lutein is one of two major carotenoids found in the retina of the human eye. It may function as a light filter, protecting the eye tissues from sunlight damage. Consequently, some recommend lutein as a preventative for macular degeneration and possibly cataracts, as well. (It may also play a role in helping to prevent colon cancer and type 2 diabetes.) Many foods are rich in lutein including: broccoli, spinach, kale, zucchini, squash, and grapes. Typically, I add ¼ cup frozen raw green kale to my breakfast smoothie, and usually accompany this with fresh avocado mashed on multi-grain and seed sourdough toast (as the fat in the avocado may help with the absorption of lutein). I also wear sunglasses during daytime hours when I am outside.

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