Nature’s Sunglasses

by | Apr 30, 2005 | Health & Healing

Certain antioxidants protect sensitive eye tissue from harmful sunlight.
Question: I’ve just turned 40, about the time they say your eyes “start to go.” A friend says I should be taking lutein. Can it help my eyes?
C.K., Boulder, Colorado


Answer:
Lutein is one of a group of antioxidants called carotenoids that can help maintain healthy cells and tissues in the eye. Several studies suggest a link between lutein and a decreased risk of eye disease.


In 1994, a U.S. study supported by the National Eye Institute indicated that consumption of foods rich in carotenoids–particularly green, leafy vegetables–was associated with a reduced risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In 1999, several studies showed that people with higher intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin, another carotenoid, had a lower risk of developing cataracts. In 2001, data from a national health and nutrition survey reported that higher intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin among people ages 40-59 may be associated with a reduced risk of advanced AMD.


Because of the promising results from these studies, the NEI is now conducting a pilot study to see how well lutein is absorbed into the bloodstream in people over age 60. This is the first step in testing the antioxidant as a possible treatment for AMD.


In addition, the NEI is supporting a study that further investigates the intake of lutein and zeaxanthin with relation to its effect on the likelihood of not developing AMD or cataracts. The results of this study, titled “Carotenoids and Age-Related Eye Disease in Women’s Health,” will help professionals make dietary recommendations about the benefit of eating diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.


I have collected numerous studies over a span of more than 50 years that support the benefits of these two nutrients on eye health and protection from AMD and cataracts. In particular, lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to increase specific pigments in the retina (the back portion of the eye).


These are the same carotenoids, along with the familiar beta-carotene, that protect plants from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Eating a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can increase the macular pigment in the retina, offering protection from sun-related macular degeneration. In effect, they serve as God’s natural sunglasses.


Include a daily supplement with lutein and zeaxanthin. Also, eat lutein-rich foods, including cantaloupe, corn, grapes and blueberries, and yellow squash, spinach, kale and collard greens.


Question: I hear that peanut butter helps prevent cancer and can even protect from heart disease. But isn’t peanut butter high in fat?
J.J., Indianapolis, Indiana


Answer:
Peanuts and peanut butter contain significant quantities of beta-
sitosterol, an ingredient found in most plants that has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and offer protection from the most common forms of cancer we see today–breast, prostate and colon.


Peanuts and peanut butter also contain the plant chemical resveratrol (found commonly in grapes). It too has been shown to be a protective factor in reducing cancer as well as heart disease.


Studies show that adding a small handful of peanuts or one tablespoon of peanut butter to the average American diet each day can lower cholesterol by up to 14 percent and reduce heart disease by up to 21 percent.


In addition, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, eating one tablespoon of peanut butter or one ounce of peanuts (or other nuts) five or more times a week is associated with a 20 percent to 30 percent reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.


Although nuts and peanut butter are high in fat, it is the type that is good for us: monounsaturated fat. Peanuts, whether in their natural form or as peanut butter, are packed with vitamin E, folate, potassium, zinc, magnesium and fiber. Be sure to limit your intake to the recommended amounts because peanuts are high in calories (about 100 per tablespoon), as is peanut butter.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Jonathan Cahn: How the Great Seduction Overwhelmed America

Jonathan Cahn: How the Great Seduction Overwhelmed America

Read Time: 7 Minutes, 16 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? If so, who are these gods? And could they be the hidden agents transforming modern culture? Is it possible that in the mythologies of the ancient...

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

Read Time: 3 Minutes 6 Seconds I didn’t grow up celebrating Advent. When I was little, we put up a tree, got presents and had a Christmas Eve service. It seemed to me that most grown-ups were stressed over Christmas and thankful when it was all over. It wasn’t until...

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

Read Time: 4 Minutes 17 Seconds The day after Thanksgiving is culturally called Black Friday, in the U.S. It marks the beginning of retail sales that could ensure a successful and profitable Christmas-gift-buying season. Black Friday In decades past, book-keepers...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 39 Seconds In corporate prayer the other day, I was in place of deep prayer and intercession when I heard in my spirit, "Redeem the times." As I continued to pray, I just kept hearing "Redeem the times" echo in my spirit. Then the Lord said, "I am...

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Read Time: 3 Minutes 53 Seconds WalletHub estimates 97% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and were expected to spend $835 million on Thanksgiving turkeys for last week’s holiday. More than 50 million people were expected to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on...

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

Read Time: 4 Minutes 49 Seconds I know that what I am writing in my blog today will cause some people discomfort. Others will become angry and still others will choose to stop reading my blogs and articles. Yet, knowing that there is a danger of the above happening,...

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

RECENT ARTICLES

Jonathan Cahn Reveals Latest Mystery That Lies Behind Wokeism in America

Is it possible that ancient entities known as the "gods" have returned to our world? Could they be the hidden agents transforming modern culture? Could the growing movement to curtail free speech in...
10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

Pin It on Pinterest