Losing your vision can send your quality of life into a tailspin. Things like driving to the store, taking your dog for a walk, or even recognizing a loved one’s face can become challenging… and dangerous.
Even worse? Your chances of developing a life-changing eye disease, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), increase as you age.
But the latest science suggests that vision problems don’t have to be part of your golden years. Researchers are pointing to a new, natural way to stop AMD in its tracks. And all you have to do is eat a handful of a tiny, tasty berry.
You may have heard of goji berries before. They are the fruit of Lycium chinense and Lycium barbarum bushes and are found in northwest China. These tiny, powerful berries have been an essential part of Chinese medicine for centuries, being used in traditional teas and soups for their “eye brightening” abilities.
More recently, they’ve become popular worldwide as a “superfruit” – and with good reason!
Goji berries are packed with age-fighting antioxidants – including lutein and zeaxanthin, which help filter out harmful blue light and shield your eyes from aging. Plus, they can even lower your risk of eye diseases related to AMD.
“Lutein and zeaxanthin are like sunscreen for your eyes,” said lead author Xiang Li, a doctoral candidate in the Nutritional Biology Program at University of California, Davis.
“The higher the lutein and zeaxanthin in your retina, the more protection you have. Our study found that even in normal, healthy eyes, these optical pigments can be increased with a small daily serving of goji berries,” said Li.
A Handful is all You Need
In a recent randomized trial, Li and other researchers from UC- Davis found that 13 healthy seniors who consumed 28 grams – about one ounce, or a handful – of goji berries, five times a week for 90 days increased the density of protective pigments in their eyes.1
This is great news for any senior who wants to keep razor-sharp vision well into their golden years.
Li explained that goji berries effectively combat AMD because they contain a special form of zeaxanthin that’s easily absorbed by the body.
Currently, intermediate stages of AMD are treated with a formulation of dietary supplements called AREDS, containing vitamins C, E, zinc, copper and lutein, and zeaxanthin. But there’s no therapy shown to impact the early stages of AMD.
While more research is needed, this trial shows that goji berries may just be the best way to stop AMD before it starts.
Protects Against Another Leading Cause of Blindness, too
Even better? Other studies show that goji berries can also protect you from another vision-robbing disease – glaucoma. They do this by shielding your retina from ganglion cells, which can cause retinal damage and trigger this progressive disease.2
Imagine being able to protect your eyes from not only one but TWO of the leading causes of blindness in seniors, and all you have to do is enjoy a tasty snack.
Goji berries have other reported anti-aging benefits which include to:
- Support the immune system: With large amounts of vitamins A and C, goji berries are believed to build-up the immune system against illness.
- Fight cancer: Research on laboratory animals found that goji berries might inhibit tumor growth and increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments.3
- Protect skin against ultraviolet radiation: Research on laboratory animals found the animals drinking goji juice had enough antioxidants to protect against ultraviolet damage and skin disorders.4
- Stabilize blood sugar: A clinical study performed in 2015 found that goji berries can balance blood sugar levels by having a positive effect on insulin.5
- Reduce anxiety, depression: A clinical study found that goji berry juice can improve mood and energy levels. In the study people drank the juice for 14 days and then completed questionnaires.6
- Prevent liver damage: Research in animals reveals that goji berries can improve the health of the liver and prevent alcohol-induced fatty liver disease and cancerous tumors.7
You can find goji berries or their juice online or at your local natural health store.