Scientists and nutritionists are encouraging an increase in the consumption of broccoli to help improve our eye's health and, specifically, to avoid retinitis pigmentosa, a group of chronic eye diseases of genetic origin and degenerative that affects about 20,000 people in Spain.
A poor diet that does not include all the necessary nutrients can affect our vision's proper functioning. "Following a varied and balanced diet is basic for our eyes," says Laura Jorge, nutritionist-dietitian. She explains that antioxidants and vitamins are key for our eyes' health and, therefore, the food we eat daily takes on a "vital importance" in providing these substances to the body.
In the case of retinitis pigmentosa, the nutritionist highlights fruits, and vegetables as essential foods to help prevent this disease. Among these is broccoli, which contains beneficial properties for eyes such as vitamins A (improves night vision), C (protects against ultraviolet radiation) and E (prevents Macular Degeneration Associated with Age) and lutein (natural protection for the eyes).
It also has sulforaphane, a bioactive compound that also "safeguards from ultraviolet radiation and the oxidative damage that it causes in our eyes," according to Diego A. Moreno, a researcher at the Laboratory of Phytochemistry of the Department of Science and Food Technology of CEBAS- CSIC, which collaborates actively with the Broccoli Association.
Moreno also points out that the intake of broccoli and its shoots is a "good preventive therapy" against degenerative sight problems like cataracts.
Retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic and degenerative disease
Retinitis pigmentosa is a set of chronic ocular diseases of genetic origin and degenerative character that affects the retina. It causes a reduced ability to adapt to the dark and reduces the visual field, which can end up in vision loss.
It was diagnosed for the first time in the late nineteenth century and had until then been widely unknown within medicine. It occurs when there is degeneration and apoptosis of the photoreceptors (peripheral-field cones), although in its final phases it affects the cones (central vision), which causes blindness in a significant number of cases.
The age of onset is very varied and ranges from 25 to 40 years, although there have been cases of those under 20 years of age and those over 50 years of age. The disease does not affect all people equally, even within the family, where there are cases of children with more serious effects than their parents and vice versa.
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