Spinach to Support Your Sight

Spinach to Support Your Sight

Posted under Eye Health, Low Vision Info

If you do any kind of reading on eye healthy diets, you will see a common recommendation to eat more spinach.  There are lots of good reasons for that.


How Spinach Benefits our Eye Health

Rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants, spinach provides us with lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione. High concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the macula, a yellow spot in the retina responsible for clear vision. The body doesn’t produce these carotenoids so we must get them through our diet.  Correlations have been found linking macular pigment density to better vision. This powerful green is also rich in vitamins such as Vitamin K1, Vitamin C and Vitamin A.  “A British study found that cataract formation was reduced 50% by eating 5 servings of spinach a week, “ reports Robert Abel, Jr., M.D., author of The Eye Care Revolution: Prevent and Reverse Common Vision Problems.


How to Buy Your Spinach

Each year the Environmental Working Group produces a list called The Dirty Dozen. It’s a list of the top 12 fruits or vegetables that rate the highest in pesticides.  In The 2018 Dirty Dozen List non-organic spinach went from #8 to #2 for pesticide residue.  “The latest tests by the Department of Agriculture in 2015 and 2016 shows a sharp increase in pesticide residues on non-organic spinach since the crop was last tested in 2008 and 2009. Based on the USDA tests, EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce ranks spinach second on the Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides – a significant jump from its previous rank of eighth.” Needless to say, it’s best to buy organic spinach.


How to Prepare and Use Spinach

For someone who does eat this powerful leafy green quite regularly I’ve learned a couple of easy ways to get it into my diet more frequently.  The easiest of course is to use spinach for your salad base.  Another way to eat it raw is to put it in your smoothies.  You can buy a large bag of organic spinach and put the extra in the freezer.  Use the frozen spinach in your smoothie for a cold, nutrient dense drink.  Add this leafy green to omelets and soups or saute it as a vegetable side.  Because many of the nutrients in spinach include fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids, it’s important to pair it with some healthy fat such as using olive oil for your salad dressing, adding an avocado to your green smoothie or sauteing your spinach with organic butter.


For more information on ocular nutrition visit:


Ocular Nutrition


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN