Carrots may not help you see in the dark, but green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach can help to protect the eyes from macular disease, one of the leading causes of sight loss in the UK.
With around 70,000 people diagnosed with macular disease each year, there is no cure currently available. However, there are ways to help address the deterioration that affects the part of the retina responsible for all of our central vision.
Diet is one of the main risk factors of macular disease, alongside age, smoking, blood pressure, sunlight, genetics and gender, with more women than men affected. Macular disease currently affects more than 600,000 people in the UK, and researchers estimate that as soon as 2020, as many as 650,000 people in the UK may have advanced age related macular degeneration (AMD).
Nutritionist Fiona Hunter comments, ‚ÄúWhile health is increasingly important as people age, it's not just the heart, lungs and joints that need looking after - it's the eyes that can often be forgotten about. A nutritious diet can play a vital part in keeping the eyes healthy and kale packs a real punch in terms of the nutrition it offers. In addition to lutein and vitamins A and C, kale is also a source of vitamin K, calcium, folate and iron, which can help keep the bones healthy and assist in the manufacture of red blood cells which carry oxygen and nutrients around the body.‚Äù
For more tips on eye health watch our video or visit the Macular Society website.