Sept. 11, 2007 -- New research shows that eating yellow and green vegetables may help people aged 60 and older avoid age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
In surveys, participants reported how often they had eaten 90 different foods during the past year. Those foods included yellow and green veggies rich in the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.
Those with the highest self-reported intake of foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin were 35% less likely than those with the lowest lutein and zeaxanthin intake to have "wet" age-related macular degeneration.
No other nutrients stood out in the study, which appears in today's edition of the Archives of Ophthalmology.
The study doesn't prove that lutein and zeaxanthin prevent age-related macular degeneration. But the researchers -- who included John Paul SanGiovanni, ScD, of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group -- argue that that possibility deserves further study.
Meanwhile, here are some foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin: spinach, kale, turnip greens, collards, mustard greens, squash, green peas, broccoli, pumpkin, and corn.