Carrots really can help your eyesight. Pigments called carotenoids found in plenty in vegetables like carrots, peppers and spinach can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), It is one of the most common causes of vision loss in older people – and is also on the rise. AMD, although painless, causes the loss of central vision, usually in both eyes. It is likely to affect 196 million sufferers by 2020 and 288 million by 2040. The sight loss usually happens gradually over time, although it can sometimes be rapid.
The Harvard University-led study found that those who consumed the highest levels of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40 per centlower risk of developing the advanced form of the condition than those who ate the least. Good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are dark leafy vegetables and eggs. Carrots and sweet potato are sources of alpha and beta-carotene, while beta-cryptoxanthin is found in fruits like oranges and peaches.
The macular pigment protects the macula by interacting with free radicals to prevent cell damage and by filtering out damaging blue light.
There is currently no cure. However, AMD does not affect peripheral, or side, vision, which means it will not cause complete blindness.