Leafy greens for healthy eyes

The most common cause of adult blindness could affect 3 million Americans by 2020, according to the Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Croup. But age-related macular degeneration, which gradually destroys central vision, may be thwarted by consuming foods rich in the yellow pigment lutein. In a recent study in the journal Optometry, symptoms were reversed in 60 patients who took 10 milligrams of lutein daily for a year. "Some patients had an actual disappearance of holes in their vision and an improvement in distortions in their central vision," says lead study author Stuart Richer, O.D., Ph.D, an optometrist at North Chicago VA Medical Center. Even adults with healthy eyes can protect their vision by loading up on lutein, says Richer. "Ten milligrams of lutein can be found in two ounces of spinach, 45 percent of which is bioavailable," he says, listing kale and collard greens as other good sources. "I also recommend wearing sunglasses and keeping your weight and blood pressure in check. Maintaining overall cardiovascular health through diet and exercise is very important, since age-related macular degeneration is partly a vascular disease