Macular degeneration: Are grapes good for your eyes?

Evan Walker
Evan Walker TheMediTary.Com |
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A new study shows a daily serving of grapes could benefit age-related vision by improving a biomarker of macular degeneration. Stocksy/Getty Images Tim M Lanthier/Getty Images
  • A recent study found that a daily cup and a half of grapes may improve age-related vision problems.
  • The findings suggest that daily grape consumption could improve a biomarker of macular degeneration in older adults.
  • Grapes contain antioxidants that may reduce oxidative stress, which contributes to poor eye health.

Carrots aren’t the only food that’s good for eye health. A recent study found that a daily serving of grapes improved age-related vision problems in older adults.

The study is the first randomized, controlled human study of the potential benefits of grapes for human eyesight in the aging population.

According to the study’s authors, grape consumption reduces oxidative stress and benefits certain age-related biomarkers linked to macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration occurs in the eye’s macula, the central part of the retina, and generally occurs in people over 50. The condition makes it difficult for people to see things directly in front of them — although they can see things not centrally located.

The study results were recently published in the journal Food & Function. It was funded by the California Table Grape Commission, which played no role in its implementation, analysis, or interpretation of data.

While there are no official guidelines on the number of grapes one should consume, Dr. Kim suggested, “From our study, we can say consuming 1.5 cups daily will benefit your eye Health.”

However, consuming excessive amounts of whole grapes could spike blood sugar, especially in individuals with prediabetes and diabetes.

“It is important to remember that grapes, like many fruits, are high in natural sugars. It’s essential to consume grapes and other high-sugar fruits in moderation, especially if you have diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition,” Dr. Julia Giyaur, an ophthalmologist in New York who was not involved in the study, told MNT.

“It’s generally advisable to consume a balanced diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables to support overall eye health,” Dr. Giyuar added.

Other vegetables and fruits containing nutrients that support eye Health include:

  • carrots, sweet potatoes, and apricots — great sources of β-carotene
  • spinach and kale — rich in carotenoid pigments, lutein, and zeaxanthin
  • oranges — high in vitamin C

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