Today is National Spinach Day

 This leafy green vegetable is so good for our eyes

Here’s a little reminder, March 26th is National Spinach Day in case it slipped your mind! Spinach is not just tasty it provides your eyes with Lutein, which is thought to help maintain eye health. Are you intrigued? Then read on…..

The Spectacular Benefits of Spinach 

Spinach is known for its high fibre content, its abundance of antioxidants and vitamins.  Studies have shown may also decrease the risk of stroke and developing cataracts. Some of our readers may remember that this is the leafy green vegetable that gave Popeye his super-strength. It may, however, also promote super-sharp eyesight. Green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli are rich in two antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants produce a substance that scientists think may help protect our eyes against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in Western societies.

Age Related Macular Degeneration

Spinach is rich in lutein and contains zeaxanthin, these two carotenoids are known to make a difference in the fight against age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  A 2018 study of 2000 Australian adults showed that those who ate between 100 to 142 mgs of spinach nitrates each day had a 35% lower risk of developing early AMD than people who ate less than 69mgs of vegetable nitrates each day.

Cataract Development

Not only spinach protect our eyes from age-related macular degeneration, but cataract development as well.  In fact, another study demonstrated that higher dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin and vitamin E was associated with a significantly decreased risk of cataract formation.”

Macular Pigment

Lutein and zeaxanthin play a crucial role in the thickness of the macular pigment.  It’s a case of the thicker the better.  The human body is unable to make lutein and zeaxanthin, so it needs to obtain these antioxidants from green leafy vegetables such as spinach.  However, the average person doesn’t consume enough of the recommended amounts which ranges from 6-20 mg per day.

Organic Cooked Spinach

Strangely cooked spinach contains much higher amounts of lutein than raw spinach. The lutein and zeaxanthin in spinach become more absorbable when cooked. 1 Cup cooked spinach  20.4 mg of lutein  1 Cup raw spinach        3.7 mg of lutein Not only is spinach an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, but it also has beta-carotene, plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids, glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamins C, E and B as well as the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Low in calories, Spinach is jam-packed with nutrients.  Eating plenty of healthy vegetables is not the only protection against eye disorders and regular eye tests should not be missed. To book an eye test, please call us in Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Metham on 01484 907090 to make your appointment.

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