Green leafy vegetables strengthen eyesight

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The power of nature: green leafy vegetables improve eyesight

If you eat green leafy vegetables, you should sharpen your eyesight. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the key ingredients that have a positive effect on the macula of the eye, as doctors from Jena report. They refer to a current US study.

Kale, spinach, broccoli and Co. protect eyesight. Green leafy vegetables contain substances that make up the macula. If you eat a lot of spinach, kale and broccoli, you should counteract the wear and tear of the yellow spot. “The macula, also called the yellow spot, is the point of sharpest vision on the retina. It is only 1.5 millimeters in size and has a high proportion of macular pigment, "explains the former senior physician at the Jena University Eye Clinic, Dr. Jens Dawczynski.

The main components of the macula are zeaxantin and lutein. Both are mainly found in green leafy vegetables. Previously, scientists assumed that beta-carotene was the determining ingredient in the macula, which is mainly contained in carrots. Dawczynski explains that zeaxantin and lutein are descendants of beta-carotene. They are primarily contained in green leafy vegetables. Arugula and white cabbage also contain lutein. Five milligrams of lutein are a suitable daily dose for healthy people, Dawczynski advises. People with macular problems should take ten milligrams a day. This amount is contained in 100 to 150 milligrams of green leafy vegetables. About a kilogram of carrots or 30 oranges would have to be consumed to achieve a similar effect.

Green leafy vegetables and fish can work against loss of vision. Since the human body is unable to produce the substances for the permanent build-up of the yellow spot itself, these must be ingested with food. In addition to lutein and zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids are also important for eye health. They are mainly found in fish and linseed oil. The influence of omega-3 fatty acids on the macula has also been proven in a US study. The subjects who consumed significantly more fish and thus consumed many omega-3 fatty acids showed a significantly reduced risk of macular degeneration. This is one of the most common causes of old age blindness.

In addition to nutrition, genes are an important influencing factor. For example, glaucoma could hardly be stopped with a healthy diet if genetic inheritance occurred. Environmental influences also play an important role. Smoking and obesity not only damage health in general, but also have a particularly negative effect on eyesight. Working on the computer is also very tiring for the eye. Dawczynski therefore advises to take sufficient breaks and to take a look into the distance in between.

Green vegetables can also prevent osteoporosis. Green vegetables are not only good for promoting eye health, but can also prevent osteoporosis. Broccoli and Co. contain, for example, much more usable calcium than dairy products. Regular consumption of whole grains, fruit, tofu and soybeans, nuts, fish and Brussels sprouts, kefir and yogurt is highly recommended. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and cola should be avoided, as they can have an adverse effect on the calcium balance and lead to calcium deficiency.

Green vegetables also often contain more iron than meat. This applies, for example, to spinach, which contains between 3.5 and 4.1 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. Meat, on the other hand, only has 1 to 2.5 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. Offal contains significantly more iron, but they are rarely found on the menu. Numerous delicious vegetarian dishes with green leafy vegetables can be found on the Internet. (ag)

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