If you eat that apple--plus a banana and handful of grapes--you could reduce your risk of developing the eye problem called age-related macular degeneration when you reach your senior years.
Age-related maculopathy, also known as macular degeneration, is a leading cause of blindness in older adults.
A study from the Channing Laboratory at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Womens Hospital indicates that people who eat a daily diet that includes several servings of fruit reduce their risk of developing macular degeneration as seniors.
The study looked at a group of men and women age 50 and older. It compared their intake of antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids (like beta carotene) as well as fruits and vegetables, and how these elements relate to the development of macular degeneration.
Researchers discovered that people who consumed three or more servings of fruit per day over a period of 12 to 18 years reduced their risk of developing macular degeneration by more than 30%, compared to people who ate 1.5 servings per day or less.
And as this study shows, having at least three servings of fruit per day may help your eyesight as you get older by helping to reduce your risk of developing macular degeration.
Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy.
Cho E, Seddon JM, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92.