Eyestrain and Avocados

April 11, 2009 by  
Filed under featured, Health


As we seem to be spending more time in front of computers these days, it’s worth paying attention to keeping your eyes fit and healthy and one of the essential ingredients for that is the antioxidant lutein as it acts as a light filter to protect the macula. The primary cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 is macular degeneration and lutein is to support our eye health and helps prevent age-related degeneration.

Although we are born with a small amount of lutein in the macula – the spot on the retina at the back of your eyeball where light is collected and similated for the optic nerve – we can’t produce any more of it in the body. Now a trial involving subjects who have long-term exposure to computer monitor screens has taken place at Peking University in Beijing. Three groups were being assessed for the effects of lutein supplementation, receiving either six or 12 grams daily, or a placebo.

After 12 weeks the results were positive. The two lutein groups had improved their visual function and contrast sensitivity and the placebo group had not. So how can you get the same benefits? Simply by including lutein rich foods in your diet such as spinach, eggs, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, oranges, lettuce and celery.

If you add in some avocados then you are also getting essential nutrients such as magnesium, folate, vitamins B, E, and K, omega-3fatty acids, and of course lutein. Avocados have one essential benefit; a 2004 study showed that they help your body absorb more than 4 times as much lutein from your food than if they are not present in a meal. The weather is getting warmer, so what about a salad with spinach, lettuce, celery, tomatoes and an avocado?