Why superfoods are the apple (ok, kale) of your eye
Superfoods – we’ve all heard plenty about them. Most of us could probably name three or four fairly effortlessly and we don’t exactly need a master’s degree in biochemistry to understand the basic principles behind their numerous and wide-ranging benefits.
Even so, when planning a healthy weekly menu, few of us tend to give much thought to one particular bodily function that certain superfoods are known to work small wonders for: our vision. And no, we’re not talking about dubious old-timey claims for carrots giving you night vision! (Although actually, the possible scientific observations behind that well-worn claim might not be entirely unrelated…)
In fact, as the infographic below shows, some superfoods can actually help us see better in the light. Specifically, blue light; the high frequency, short wavelength end of the visible spectrum that you’ll be all-too-familiar with if you’ve ever struggled to sleep after gazing at a smartphone or laptop late into the evening. Blue light has long been known to disrupt our circadian rhythms, affecting both sleep-wake cycles and daytime mood – but in purely physical terms, it’s also a key contributor to age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of long-term vision loss in the West.
Yellow pigments in the eye act as a natural filter for blue light, and these pigments – carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin – are synthesised only by certain green leaves. But luckily for superfood lovers, that includes the likes of kale, spinach and (to a smaller extent) carrots. Of course, it’s never a bad idea to top up on your leafy greens…but who knew they might actually come in extra handy if the occasional Candy Crush session overruns?