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Nourish Your Eyes With Colorful Fruits And Vegetables This Spring

Eating a diet with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables helps prevent heart disease and cancer and helps us maintain a healthy weight. Some fruits and vegetables may help prevent certain diseases, too.

Spring brings beautiful colors back to nature.  After a long, snowy winter, we can enjoy looking at the green sprouts of grass, pink buds on trees or some red and yellow tulips adding color to the outdoors.

Flowers, leaves, vegetables, and some fruits are colored by natural pigments.  Let the colors of nature be a good reminder. 

Carrots, Step Aside

You may have been told that you should eat carrots for healthy eyes. Yes, carrots provide "beta-carotene", which helps with night vision.

Two other natural pigments, lutein and zeaxanthin, nourish the eyes and may help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.  These natural chemicals are found in a variety of foods.

Eye-healthy “lutein” is naturally found in:
Spinach • Corn • Egg yolk • Romaine lettuce
Zucchini • Broccoli • Brussels sprouts • Peas • Kiwi

Eye-healthy “zeaxanthin” is naturally found in:

Corn • Orange bell peppers • Kale
Spinach • Oranges • Mango

Budget Tip: Many of these items are “in season” in the spring.
Watch your grocery store fliers for sales!

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Filed under: nutrition
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