Spinach tends to be leader in everything. It is always on top of the list of the healthiest foods on the Earth. It is an ever-present item in all kinds of diets for rejuvenation and losing weight. And here is one more victory! Spinach has been found to be very beneficial for eyesight.
0.2 lb spinach leaves contain 7.5 mg lutein. Spinach contains the greatest amount of this recently discovered carotenoid among plants. Unlike other carotenoids lutein penetrates from the blood plasma into the eyes and gets stored up there. Scientists have already found that lutein plays a role in the formation of the pigment of the yellow spot in the retina. The pigment density defines the sharpness of vision.
Researchers from Georgia State University compared the results of various researches of the influence of lutein on the eyesight. They conducted a number of tests on volunteers who suffered from the irremediable eye disease – macular degeneration; this disease leads to a fast deterioration of vision. The patients followed a spinach-rich diet for six months. They took not less than 20 mg lutein daily. At the end of the research they all registered vision improvement. Having done computerized diagnostics and analyses the scientists concluded that lutein increases the sharpness, contrast and distance, and widens the field of vision. It also protects the eyes from light stroke induced by ultraviolet emission.
Dr. Billy R. Hammond Jr, lead researcher, says that lutein can protect the retina and the crystalline lens; it can help in preventing age-related eye diseases, such as macula degeneration and cataract. He also remarked that medical scientists who had paid tribute to chemical treatment are beginning to regard biomedicine as a more effective method of treatment.
Note: Olives, corn, beans, green peas, pistachios, pumpkins are rich in lutein too. The body needs fats for better absorption of lutein. Therefore it is better to take all these foods with vegetable oil or dairy products which contain fats too.