Enjoy greens for your eyes' sake because as always prevention by eating kale and spinach is a lot better than trying to cure macular-degeneration and glaucoma with injections and lutein supplements.
I was astonished when my optician said to me, you enjoy a lot of greens, do you not?
How could he possibly have known? Continuing, he added, there is not a sign of a cataract, or macular degeneration.
That lead to some study and ultimately understanding that two phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in very high concentration in the eyes; they absorbe the damaging high-energy spectrum rays of radiation.
These carotenes are found in abundance in your greens, and in other fruit and vegetables; zucchini squash has the benefit of being rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin. This simply emphasises the need to enjoy a broad spectrum of coloured foods.
It is estimated that five million Americans are needlessly blind because of a deficiency of these two carotenoids, and many more are partially-sighted. Swallow your greens, and even if do not enjoy them, eat them; for your eyes' sake. Medicine never tasted this good.
Your greens of course are rich in many other important phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins. Just the folic acid for your children’s brains is a good enough reason to ensure they are daily on the menu; strong research shows the kids will perform better in school.
January is the season of high temperatures and humidity; that has meant that what we call spinach, Swiss chard in fact, has been decimated by moulds. Luckily the kale has proved more resistant, and the lettuce is flourishing provided we water it daily in the heat. Fortunately with all the rain, the underground reservoir is full.
Kale seems to be a little known green in South Africa; in fact it ranks right up there with broccoli and Swiss chard in the anti-inflammatory stakes, and prevention of tumours.
And it is one of the richest sources of lutein, the stuff that prevents that age-onset macular degeneration.
There are many varieties of kale; we grow several, but I actually prefer the common one that grows quite tall. Unfortunately the iNdlazis also have discovered that it is the best green; they too instinctively know it is good for their eyes' sake. You may need to make a frame with bird-netting to protect your plants. Late summer is the time to get the seed in the ground for your winter vegetables.
Holding the thick stalk, by running your fingers down the leaf you can strip off the edible part. I first fry a small onion in butter, we never eat margarine because of the hydrogenated fats, perhaps with garlic and chilli, and then drop in the sliced kale, often mixed with a few other greens such as Swiss chard and sweet basil; add a few tablespoons of boiling water. Plop an egg on it for the famous Florentine dish.
I admit to being a bit of a fruitcake; most days we have eggs Hilton for breakfast, a lettuce salad for lunch and kale for supper. I do not fancy someone poking me in the eye with a laser or sharp scalpel. Glaucoma.org states that lutein and zeaxanthin are also important in the prevention and treatment of pressure in the vitreous humor.
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Eat greens for your eyes' sake whether you like them or not or you may go blind or get cataracts. Read more about the lutein benefit.
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