Research Papers

Colorful Fruit and Vegetables Improves Vision In Athletes


Nutrition plays a crucial role in any athlete’s performance, however this review shows that it may also impact visual range. Visual range is assessed by how far someone can see clearly. This study looks at lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two dietary derived pigments found in the retina. They are particularly important for the health of the nervous system as well as visual performance. This review demonstrated that research links lutein and zeaxanthin with decreased glare disability and discomfort, as well as a quick recovery from visual stress. The researchers explain that when a person absorbs lutein and zeaxanthin, the compounds act as a filter to prevent lights and other visual blockages from entering the eye. Given that lutein and zeaxanthin are found in colourful fruits and vegetables, the authors recommend that increasing the number of colourful plants in an athlete’s diet may improve their visual performance.

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Visual range is quantified by assessing how far one can see clearly (an ability crucial to many athletes). This ability tends to vary significantly across individuals despite similar personal characteristics. We hypothesize that the primary driver of these differences is the individual response to scattered short-wave light in the environment moderated by the dietarily derived retinal pigments lutein and zeaxanthin.


Article Publication Date: 8/6/2023
DOI: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000318

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