Carrots Help Protect Against Macular Degeneration
By Joseph J. Jalkiewicz |
It's the carotenoids that help. These are substances that give carrots and other vegetables their yellow, orange, purple and red colors.
As usual, Mom was right: Carrots are good for your eyes -- and now there's proof.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have shown that a diet rich in carrots and other vegetables may help protect against macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in older Americans.
Scientists say it's carotenoids that help. These are substances that give carrots and other vegetables their yellow, orange, purple and red colors. Researchers found a positive relationship between the density of a pigment in the macula lutea (an area of especially keen vision on your eye's retina) and the consumption of fruits and vegetables high in the carotenoids, lutein and, to a lesser extent, beta-carotene.
The scientists speculate that the pigment filters out harmful blue and near-ultraviolet light and shields against reactive oxygen byproducts (free radicals) generated in the chemical process of converting light into the nerve signals that we interpret as vision.
Along with carrots, beneficial foods include spinach, kale, corn and broccoli.
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