The Role of Lutein in Preserving Vision and Eye Health

Although often considered to be a natural part of aging, deteriorating vision is not an inevitable part of life. Avoiding potentially harmful habits, eating a healthy diet, and the addition of nutrients like lutein that support eye health can delay or prevent the degenerative changes of age-related conditions like macular degeneration.

What is Lutein?
If you have not heard about the vital role of a nutrient called lutein in enhancing eye health, take note. Lutein offers a natural and proven way to protect and preserve your vision. This substance, which is found in marigolds and green leafy vegetables, is also found in abundance within the macula of the human eye.Because the macula controls central vision, macular degeneration results in deterioration of the most important area of your visual field. The condition often develops with increasing age, and it manifests in various ways. Many people suffer from a mild blurring of central vision, while others experience more serious vision loss. In many cases, the damage is progressive. Lutein has been proven in medical studies to decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration and to boost eye health in general.

How to Increase the Lutein in Your Diet
A simple change in your diet can go a long way to protect your vision. The star performer in providing dietary lutein is kale. It has the highest concentration of the nutrient, and it is widely available and easily prepared. Other great sources include spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard and turnip greens. Adding more healthy greens to your diet also increases your ability to fight cancer, heart disease and gastrointestinal problems; your eyes won’t be the only beneficiaries. You can usually obtain enough lutein through your diet, but it is also available as a dietary supplement in pill form.

Better Choices, Better Eyesight
The link between nutrition, lifestyle and the health of your eyes has never been clearer. Lifestyle changes can work alongside nutritional support to prevent eye disease and the degeneration of vision. Avoid smoking and be sure that your diet is primarily made up of chemical-free, unprocessed foods. Whether you wear prescription eyeglasses or reading glasses from the drugstore, consider your eye health a priority and see your optometrist regularly. These small steps, along with the potent protection of lutein in either food or supplement form, can give you the tools you need to improve your eye health and maintain it for life.