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Fruit for Your Eyes

Eating a Mediterranean Diet with Fruit May Lower Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration 

While no one diet is perfect for everyone, we have to admit the Mediterranean diet is pretty darn close. Adding to the list of benefits that include longevity, improved blood flow and kidney health, a new study from Portugal finds foods in the Mediterranean diet, especially fruits, may help protect your eyes. 

Researchers studied 883 adults age 55 or older. They looked at how often participants ate foods from the Mediterranean diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes and noted which participants suffered from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness. Overall, people who closely followed the diet saw 35% lower risk of AMD than people who didn’t eat a Mediterranean diet. Fruit was especially beneficial—people who ate 150 grams (just about one cup) or more of fruit every day were nearly 15% less likely to have AMD. Eating more antioxidants such as vitamin C, found abundantly in fruit, was also linked to vision protection (we’ve seen that power before). 

The Mediterranean diet is easy to follow and is comprised of fresh and delicious foods. Base your diet around a variety of vegetables and fruits; add legumes, nuts, and fish for protein; choose whole grains like quinoa and farro; and use olive oil for cooking and on salads. 

Fruit can be eaten any time of day—even for dessert! Our Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is a seasonal, sweet and delicious fruity treat. 

BONUS: Research shows the nitrates naturally found in leafy green vegetables such as kale, mustard greens, chard and romaine lettuce may help lower risk of glaucoma.

Published May 1, 2017

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