It is not an easy leap to make. Connecting the dots between food and eyesight. Why should the two be connected anyways? My reading and research are increasingly revealing all kinds of linkages between the various functions of your body. Also, almost all the research ultimately leads up to what you eat. So much so that eating is even known to activate gene expression or not. So is the case with eyesight. Lutein is the link.

The macula of the human eye contains lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. These carotenoids, collectively play the role of blocking light from reaching the underlying structures of the retina preventing light induced damage that could lead to macular degeneration. They also filter short-wave length light and prevent the generation of free radicals in the retina of your eye. Lutein is what gives your macula its yellowish color.

Lutein, along with zeaxanthin, is widely found in plants and vegetables. It is found in brightly coloured foods, especially those that are orange or deep yellow. There are over six hundred known carotenoids of which only lutein and zeaxanthin are known to make their way to the macular portion of your eyes. Deposits of these carotenoids can prevent not only degeneration but also arrest further deterioration. They help to avoid cataracts or even improve the degeneration already caused by cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also antioxidants which protect the body from free radicals. In addition to being antioxidants, they are believed to help against atherosclerosis which is the build up of fatty deposits in your arteries. They are also known to help reduce the symptoms of diabetes In short; it has all round goodness that improves your overall health. If you ever needed a reason to eat your greens, you could not have found a better one: to continue gazing at this beautiful world.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.