Food With Lutein And Zeaxanthin is a blog dedicated to educating people about the health benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin. Our goal is for you to be completely informed about the nutrients in your food and how they can improve your eyesight.
Food With Lutein And Zeaxanthin
Most fruits and vegetables contain lutein, although the largest concentrations are found in green and yellow meals. As a fat-soluble nutrient, lutein can be better absorbed by the body when it is prepared or consumed with a healthy fat like olive oil.
The highest concentrations of lutein per serving can be found in these eight foods:
Due to its deep green color, kale contains significant amounts of nutrients, particularly high levels of lutein. There are roughly two times as many milligrams in one cup of raw kale as there are in the amounts associated with health benefits. However, the amount of lutein in cooked kale is reduced by almost half but still satisfies the daily guideline.
Spinach is a one-stop shop for many necessary vitamins and minerals because it is so high in iron, vitamin K, and magnesium. With 8 milligrams in one cup, it also contains a lot of antioxidants like lutein. Cooking spinach increases its lutein levels, unlike kale. Up to 16 milligrams are present in the same serving of cooked spinach.
3. Romaine Lettuce
Even though romaine lettuce is a leafy green with less colour, it nevertheless contains a lot of lutein. In a salad, two cups of shredded lettuce increase the amount of sodium by about 4 milligrams. Try adding a handful of green beans or broccoli to your lunch for an extra 1–2 milligrams of lutein if you want it to be even more lutein-rich.
Lutein, which is present in corn in small amounts (approximately 3.6 milligrams per cup), gives it its yellow color. Products made from corn have equally high amounts. Nine corn chips offer 1.7 milligrams of lutein, compared to one 6-inch corn tortilla’s 4 milligrams.
5. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have a lot of carotenoids, especially lutein, and are a great source of vitamin C. Although each color of pepper has its own nutritional benefits, green bell peppers offer the maximum amount of lutein, up to 1.4 milligrams, depending on the size of the pepper.
Parsley is an essential component in many recipes because of its delicate, balanced flavor. A half-cup of the herb can add 1.2 milligrams of lutein to soups, sautés, or even smoothies.
Many types of nuts have some lutein, but pistachios come out on top with 1.4 milligrams per ounce. Pistachios are also lower in fat than many other nuts, but they still contain many calories per serving, so make sure to watch your portions to avoid unwanted weight gain.
One yolk typically contains about 0.1 milligrams of lutein, though this can differ from egg to egg. Despite not being the healthiest food option, studies show that eggs are a wonderful source of lutein due to their high levels of good fats, which aid our bodies in absorbing it more effectively.
Why You Need Lutein
Although lutein doesn’t have a specific recommended consumption, its health advantages are linked to ingesting roughly 6 milligrams of it daily. The typical person only consumes 1.9 milligrams per day from their food.
Getting enough lutein can help your health in the following ways:
Long-Term Eye Health
Research shows that high lutein intake can prevent age-related vision loss and cataracts, and improve symptoms in people who have these conditions.
Lutein may help improve cognitive performance. Studies show that the nutrient helps preserve and boost brain activity, improving memory, learning efficiency, and verbal fluency. Much more research is needed to confirm these effects, however.
Lutein frequently coexists with zeaxanthin, another carotenoid, in both meals and supplements.
Both of these nutrients are antioxidants that guard your skin cells from UV (ultraviolet) sun damage. According to studies, physical activity may also enhance skin tone and delay the effects of aging.
Lutein And Zeaxanthin Benefits, Food Sources, & Side Effects
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two important carotenoids found in nature. These pigments are available in several fruits and vegetables. The benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin include fighting against chronic illnesses and promoting human health. Both these potent antioxidants are also known to promote eye health. This article explores foods that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, their health benefits, dosage, and possible side effects. Keep reading.
What Are Lutein And Zeaxanthin?
Carotenoids come in two different types: lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are the substances that give food its distinctive color. They work as antioxidants and are important for maintaining the health of the skin and eyes, among other biological processes.
The human macula is where lutein and zeaxanthin are mostly found. They are the xanthophylls, which have a variety of functions in biological systems, including being crucial structural components of cell membranes, short-wavelength light filters, and regulators of redox equilibrium.
These two antioxidants are structurally similar and offer a variety of health advantages. However, their advantages for human eyes are what make them so well-liked.
Which Foods Are Rich In Lutein And Zeaxanthin?
Below is a list of food items rich in the antioxidants.
|FOOD||AMOUNT OF LUTEIN & ZEAXANTHIN IN 100 G|
|Kale (cooked)||19.7 mg|
|Winter Squash (cooked(||1.42 mg|
|Collards (cooked)||10.9 mg|
|Yellow sweet corn (canned)||1.05 mg|
|Spinach (cooked)||11.31 mg|
|Swiss chard (cooked)||11.01 mg|
|Green Peas (cooked)||2.59 mg|
|Arugula (raw)||3.55 mg|
|Brussels Sprouts (cooked||1.29 mg|
|Broccoli rabe (cooked)||1.68 mg|
|Pumpkin (cooked)||1.01 mg|
|Egg Yolks fresh (raw)||1.1 mg|
|Sweet Potatoes leaves (cooked)||2.63 mg|
|Carrots (raw)||0.36 mg|
|Asparagus (cooked)||0.77 mg|
|Mustard greens (cooked)||5.96 mg|
|Beet greens (cooked)||1.82 mg|
|Dandelion greens (cooked)||3.40 mg|
|Garden Cress (cooked)||8.40 mg|
|Turnip greens (cooked)||8.44 mg|
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
What Are The Health Benefits Of Lutein And Zeaxanthin?
1. Promote Eye Health
The concentration of macular pigments rises with a diet high in lutein and zeaxanthin, delaying the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
These two antioxidants combine to generate the macular pigments, which are concentrated in the macula’s central fovea. They have a reputation for preventing photo-oxidative damage to the macular area. They accomplish this by filtering blue light and scavenging reactive oxygen species.
Additionally, macular pigment optical density, visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity are all known to be improved in early AMD patients by lutein and zeaxanthin. The intake of these carotenoids may be increased to combat late AMD.
According to studies, lutein and zeaxanthin may also lower the chance of developing cataracts. Another significant eyesight problem that primarily affects the elderly is cataract (clouding of the eye’s lens). Although cataracts are mostly brought on by aging, they can also be brought on by oxidative stress, diabetes, exposure to harmful substances, radiation, and as a side effect of some treatments (including corticosteroids).
2. Benefit The Skin
Strong antioxidant characteristics are exhibited by lutein and zeaxanthin, which support the health of the skin. Our skin is harmed by oxidative stress, UV exposure, and blue light in a manner similar to how the eyes are.
These may harm DNA and change collagen turnover (a type of protein responsible for skin structure and elasticity). Due to the melanin’s excessive production, this may cause tanning and potentially raise the risk of skin cancer.
The general tone and texture of the skin is also improved by the antioxidant qualities of lutein and zeaxanthin.
These are lutein and zeaxanthin’s two most important advantages. In addition to the numerous food sources, supplements are another way to enjoy the benefits of these antioxidants.
A Note On Lutein And Zeaxanthin Supplements
It has been discovered that taking supplements for these twin carotenoids is just as helpful as eating foods that contain them. It is best to obtain them naturally, though, so choose foods like fruits, eggs, and green leafy vegetables as examples.
However, acquiring enough of nutrients through diet alone might be challenging, particularly if one is occupied with work obligations. If so, supplements can be beneficial. It is a practical way to guarantee getting enough of these potent antioxidants.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that are often used in supplement form. They are both antioxidants that help protect against free radical damage, which may cause oxidative stress in cells and lead to cellular damage. Oxidative stress has also been linked to many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders.
The market is flooded with a host of supplements. If you are wondering how to choose the right one, the following factors can help:
- The actual amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in them
- Comparison with the formulations mentioned in the two clinical studies, AREDS and AREDS2 (AREDS stands for Age Related Eye Disease Study)
The best approach, though, would be to ask your doctor to prescribe the right supplement.
How Much Of Lutein And Zeaxanthin Should You Take Daily?
Zeaxanthin and lutein do not currently have an established Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). But according to study, taking supplements with 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin may be good for your overall health, including your eyes and skin.
This sum is based on research done on both people and animals. No research has been done on cannabis plants. We do know that they have a lot of carotenoid compounds, though. So, in order to achieve the greatest possible health benefits, we advise taking this dosage.
What Are The Side Effects Associated With Lutein And Zeaxanthin?
There is no actual study presented here. According to some authorities, consuming lutein and zeaxanthin up to 20 mg is safe. Make sure to consult your physician.
According to studies, consuming too many carotenoids can cause carotenoderma (a yellow-orange skin discoloration). Reducing the consumption of carotenoids typically cures this disease, which is not hazardous.
However, ingesting too much lutein and zeaxanthin has not yet been linked to any hazardous negative effects. The safety of their supplementation in youngsters, pregnant women, or nursing mothers, however, has not been proven. So, please consult your physician.
The two most prevalent naturally occurring antioxidants are lutein and zeaxanthin. They are in charge of giving fruits and vegetables their colors. The formation of eye pigment, avoiding eye conditions, and levelling out skin tone are just a few advantages of lutein and zeaxanthin. Your eyes and skin will especially benefit from these antioxidants. Consuming meals and vegetables like kale, spinach, and swiss chard as well as nutritional supplements will help you reap their benefits. Excessive use, however, may result in a few negative effects. In the event that you have any negative consequences, consult a doctor.
How lutein and zeaxanthin can help your eyes
A one-two punch of eye and vision health benefits
Carotenoids, which range in color from yellow to red and are frequently found in vegetables and other plants, include lutein and zeaxanthin. Despite being a yellow pigment, lutein appears orange-red when it is present in large amounts.
Zeaxanthin (zee-ah-ZAN-thin) and lutein (LOO-teen) appear to absorb excess light energy in nature to protect plants from harm from too much sunshine, especially from high-energy light rays known as blue light.
Cooked spinach is one of the best natural food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are abundant in the macula of the human eye and are also present in large amounts in many green leafy plants and colorful fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the macula’s yellowish hue. In actuality, the macula is also referred to as the “macula lutea” (from the Latin for “spot” and “yellow,” respectively)
Three carotenoid compounds have been found in the macula, according to recent studies. This pigment, known as meso-zeaxanthin, is not present in dietary sources and seems to be produced in the retina from ingested lutein.
Zeaxanthin and lutein seem to play significant antioxidant roles in the body. Together with other naturally occurring antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E, these vital pigments protect the body against the harmful effects of free radicals, unstable chemicals that can kill cells and contribute to a number of disorders.
Lutein has considerable advantages for the eyes and vision, but it may also help prevent atherosclerosis, the condition that most often results in heart attacks due to the formation of fatty deposits in arteries.
Eye benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin
According to theory, the macula’s lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin prevent blue light from penetrating the retina’s supporting structures, lowering the danger of light-induced oxidative damage that could cause macular degeneration (AMD).
According to a number of studies, lutein and zeaxanthin either help prevent AMD or may reduce the disease’s progression:
- Research published in Nutrition & Metabolism found that a nutritional supplement containing meso-zeaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin effectively increased the optical density of the macular pigment in eyes of the majority of human subjects. The macular pigment is believed to offer protection against the development of macular degeneration.
- Studies published in American Journal of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology found higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet are associated with a lower incidence of AMD.
- Two studies published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science found that eyes with greater levels of macular pigments were less likely to have or develop macular degeneration.
- In research published in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, the study authors conclude that lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin filter short-wavelength light and prevent or reduce the generation of free radicals in the retinal pigment epithelium and choroid. They also suggest that a mixture of these carotenoids is more effective than any one of the individual carotenoids at the same total concentration.
- In a study published in the journal Optometry, participants with early AMD who consumed 8 mg per day of dietary zeaxanthin for one year improved their night driving and their visual acuity improved an average of 1.5 lines on an eye chart.
The highly anticipated findings of the second extensive Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2), which was funded by the National Eye Institute, were released in May 2013.
The AREDS2 study was a follow-up to the original 5-year AREDS study, which was published in 2001 and found that participants with early and intermediate macular degeneration had a 25% lower risk of developing progressive AMD when they took a daily antioxidant supplement containing beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper.
The objective of AREDS2 was to assess the impact of additional nutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, on the prevention of AMD and other age-related eye disorders. Beta-carotene supplementation has been linked to an elevated risk of some malignancies in smokers and former smokers, hence AREDS2 also looked into the impact of leaving it out of the AREDS supplement.
According to the AREDS2 findings, people with early signs of macular degeneration who took a modified version of the original AREDS nutritional supplement every day for the course of the 5-year study period and contained 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin (but no beta-carotene) had a 10 to 25% lower risk of AMD progression. The biggest reduction in the incidence of AMD was shown in study participants who consumed the fewest naturally occurring lutein and zeaxanthin-containing items in their diets.
While lutein and zeaxanthin may help prevent macular degeneration (or at least lower the likelihood of it progressing) according to AREDS2 and other research, it is less clear whether they also help prevent cataracts.
According to research in Archives of Ophthalmology, women with diets high in nutritious foods containing lutein, zeaxanthin, and other carotenoids are less likely to develop cataracts than those with diets poor in these vitamins.
Supplemental lutein and zeaxanthin, however, had no impact on cataract risk or development in AREDS2.
Foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin
Vegetables with green leaves and other green or yellow vegetables are the best natural food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooked kale and cooked spinach are at the top of the list among these (USDA).
Egg yolks are one non-vegetarian source of lutein and zeaxanthin. However, it is much preferable to obtain the majority of these yellow elements from fruits and vegetables if you have high cholesterol.
Try one of our simple recipes for healthy eyes; they all have lutein and zeaxanthin.
Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements
Zeaxanthin and lutein-rich foods.
Many nutritional businesses have included lutein and zeaxanthin as carotenoids in their range of vitamin formulae due to its obvious benefits for the eyes and cardiovascular system. Others have made supplements mostly made of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are particular eye vitamins.
Although lutein and zeaxanthin do not currently have a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), some experts contend that for optimal health, you should consume at least 6 milligrams (mg) of lutein each day.
The daily requirement for lutein and zeaxanthin for effective eye and vision protection is yet unknown. Additionally, it is not yet known if supplements have the same impact as lutein and zeaxanthin found in dietary sources.
A lutein or zeaxanthin overdose has no recognized hazardous adverse effects. Carotenemia, a harmless skin yellowing, can occasionally occur in people who consume a lot of carrots or yellow and green citrus fruits. Even while the condition can often look scary and may be mistaken for jaundice, the yellow colouring goes away when you consume fewer of these foods high in carotenoids. (Excessive usage of dietary supplements containing carotenoids has also been linked to carotenemia.)
Popular lutein and zeaxanthin supplements include:
- MacuHealth with LMZ3 (MacuHealth LLC)
- EyePromise Zeaxanthin (Zeavision)
- ICaps Eye Vitamin Lutein & Zeaxanthin Formula (Alcon)
- Macula Complete (Biosyntrx)
- MacularProtect Complete (ScienceBased Health)
- MaxiVision Ocular Formula (MedOp)
- OcuGuard Plus (TwinLab)
- Ocuvite (Bausch + Lomb)
While red peppers are frequently the source of zeaxanthin, marigold flowers are the source of lutein in many lutein supplements. Make sure the lutein and zeaxanthin supplement you select is a premium one from a recognized dietary supplement manufacturer.
Keep in mind that dietary supplements cannot take the place of a balanced diet. The best method to ensure that you are getting all of the essential nutrients for your eyes is to eat a diet that is well-balanced and rich in fruits and vegetables.
Ask your eye doctor about photochromic lenses if you are light-sensitive and have low amounts of macular pigment. The lenses of these eyeglasses shield your eyes from UV rays and high-energy visible blue light, which can harm retinal tissue. They also automatically darken in sunshine to reduce light sensitivity.
Additionally, keep in mind that different people sometimes have varied sensitivities to specific supplements, which can lead to unforeseen consequences like negative interactions with drugs. Before attempting any vision supplements, speak with your doctor or eye doctor.
Animal study finds nutritional supplements reduce risk of diabetic retinopathy
A study found that lutein and zeaxanthin, lipoic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids nutritional supplements are beneficial in delaying the onset of retinopathy in diabetic rats.
The impact of carotenoid-containing supplements on retinal oxidative stress, inflammation, and the onset of diabetic retinopathy was studied by researchers at the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit.
All of the study’s rats had diabetes, which was subsequently induced and confirmed. Following this, some of the rats were fed a diet containing the nutritional supplements, while others were fed the same diet without the supplements. The retinas of the rats were examined for blood vessel alterations, cellular damage, and other retinal changes indicative of diabetic retinopathy after 11 months.
Diabetes-related retinal blood vessel damage was three to four times more severe in rats that had not received the dietary supplements than it was in those who did.
The study authors concluded that the nutritional supplements used in this study prevented diabetic retinopathy and preserved normal retinal functioning. They also said that, though human testing is required to confirm, these supplements “could represent an achievable and inexpensive adjunct therapy” to inhibit diabetic retinopathy in people with diabetes.