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A Clear Eyeful of Macula

All that spinach Popeye gulped didn’t just help his muscles bulge, it’s likely that it gave him razor-sharp vision too. Spinach, alongside other green, leafy vegetables, contributes to the protection of the macula, a part of your eye that allows you to focus on fine details.

Think of the macula as the tiniest knob on a microscope, the one used to sharpen the detail on your slide, or in this case, your lens. Without your macula in top condition, you can forget about reading or stealing a glance at your watch–without the image resolution provided by the macula, you can’t focus! Spinach and other colorful fruits and vegetables keep the macula healthy because they contain antioxidants, or vitamins like A, C, and E, that mop up the damage of molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules found in the body that scientists believe accelerate cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related illnesses. With too much exposure to macula-damaging sunlight, these molecules can build up in the body. Eating your veggies helps repair the damage. A steady diet of vitamins found in spinach, kale and peppers might even help prevent future macular break-down.

If you’ve been eating your greens, scientists say that your eye protection doubles. So, if you eat spinach 24/7, will your vision get better than 20/20? Probably not,in fact, it’s likely you won’t notice any difference. If you have the FDA-recommended five servings of greens each week, and eat about half a cup to a cup each time, chances are you’ll keep your eyes fine-tuned.

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