Pumpkins: More than a decoration
During autumn, pumpkins populate doorsteps, people host pumpkin-carving parties, Starbucks sells their beloved pumpkin spice latte, and pumpkin pie smells dominate the kitchen. However, pumpkins contain a plethora of nutrients that can help to preserve your vision, especially as you age.
The plump orange fruit contains carotenoid - a phytonutrient. One source claims that the body can sometimes transform carotenoids into vitamin A, and vitamin A is known for its abilities to protect you from experiencing impaired vision at night, and to ward off eye problems associated with age-related deterioration.
Recently, Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) analysed the connection between diet and vision. They discovered that incorporating about 40-80 mg of zinc a day could hinder the progression of advanced age-related macular (the part of the eye that works to give you clear, sharp vision) degeneration by 25%. And, reportedly, a quarter cup of raw pumpkin seeds has 2.57 mg of zinc.
Georgia Air National Guard Lt. Col. Jennifer Carver, O.D. Dr Carver informs that, “Pumpkin, that fall [favourite] fruit, contains vitamins A, C and E, zinc, [fibre], lutein and zeaxanthin-which are all beneficial to the eyes”.
Another source claims that the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin within a pumpkin can act like a “sunscreen for your eyes”.
It is important to keep in mind that pumpkin treats filled with sugar do not contain the same benefits as healthy alternatives like pumpkin soup, pumpkins seeds, roasted pumpkin, or a pumpkin smoothie!
You can also find vitamin E in nuts and sweet potatoes, which may help to defend your eyes from free radicals; whereas oranges, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and lemons are rich sources of vitamin C; chicken, red meat, and seafood may help you out with your zinc intake.
Factors like computer vision syndrome, stress, pollution, and UV rays can damage your ability to see, which also may cause headaches, fatigue, and blurred vision. However, incorporating more foods (like pumpkins!) into your diet with vitamins A, C and E, zinc, fibre, lutein and zeaxanthin may help you to keep your eyes sharp, clear, and healthy.