We’ve gone on record many times, telling our readers that their diet can have a direct influence on eye health. But if you won’t take our word for it, how about trusting the findings of a public health researcher from Harvard University? According to Juan Wu, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, people who consumed the highest levels of carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, present in dark, leafy greens and other veggies, had a 40% lower likelihood of advanced age-related macular degeneration than those who ate the very lowest amounts.
So what does that mean for the average Joe? Simply put, it’s time to channel your inner Popeye and crack open a can of spinach. Or better yet, grow your own! Fresh harvested fruits and vegetables retain much more of their nutrients. If you’re wanting to plant an “eye healthy” garden, your best bet is to plant vegetables with high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, like spinach, kale, collards, and turnips.
Not only will a leafy, green garden be good for your eyes, research has shown that the act of raising a garden is good for your all-around health. Read about it here!
And now is the perfect time to get out in the yard and try your hand at a simple garden. If you’re new to the gardening world, try simply planting one type of vegetable in a large pot on your back porch. Or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, here is a quick video tutorial from our pals at Lowes on how to construct your very own raised bed in your back yard!
Participants in Wu’s Harvard study with the highest levels of lutein and zeaxanthin consumed six or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables. But it should be noted that these types of greens should be consumed in moderation, because they have also been known to be linked to kidney stones because they are oxalate rich. Nutritionists recommend about one cup a day of these types of leafy greens.
So get growing!