Study: Spinach cuts risk of blindness in seniors

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Eating more spinach may help ward off age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, according to a new study in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

In a study of more than 4,500 people aged 60 to 80, participants who had the highest levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were significantly less likely to have advanced AMD compared to those with low levels of the plant pigments. Also, those with higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were less likely to exhibit other changes to the retina or optic nerve head that are indicative of AMD.

Lutein and zeaxanthin, also called carotenoids, are found in yellow and dark leafy vegetables like spinach. They may affect processes through which light and oxygen damage the eyes, the investigators said.