Dark, leafy greens may prevent cataractsPosted on Dec 7th 2006 4:02PM by Jonathon Morgan
By reducing damage to the eye caused by the sun's ultraviolet rays, two antioxidants -- lutein and zaxanthin -- stop proteins in the eye's lens from clumping together. If these proteins don't clump together, they can't form the vision-obscuring, milky cloud of cataracts.
While you can take supplements to increase your daily intake of these substances, you can find them naturally in green vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens.
The most recent studies involving these substances and their effectiveness against cataracts were conducted in a lab, not on the population at large, so it's not entirely clear how much these antioxidants travel from the bloodstream to the eye. Thus, doctors aren't yet sure how much eating foods containing lutein and zaxanthin will affect your likelihood of developing cataracts.
However, given the overwhelming health benefits of a diet full of fruits and vegetables, I'd take this as yet another reason to have a second helping of spinach with dinner tonight.
Looking for a tasty spinach recipe? Try this!