This holiday, there may be a great excuse for you to grab that extra piece of cake or muffin.

Momma always said that carrots are good for your eyesight, but pumpkins may be even better! As we age, our eyesight can diminish, and the cartenoids from orange and green foods become crucial in slowing that decline. Research suggest that oxidative damage on the eye lens can lead to cataracts, one of the leading causes of age-related blindness in the United States. A cataract is a clouding in the lens caused, most often, by free radicals which can be reduced by cartenoids.

Most canned pumpkin is really winter squash, but they still contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are great for macular eye health. A daily intake of 6 miligrams of lutein or zeaxanthin is recommended to help ward off cataracts and macular degeneration. This would equal out to 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin or winter squash, or 1 cup of cooked kale, spinach, or broccoli daily.

So, if carrots aren't quite your thing, and you want a great excuse to have an extra helping of something sweet and tasty this season, then go for the pumpkin pie!

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