If you want to preserve your eyes and avoid age-related diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration, one of the best ways to do it is to make sure you consume two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. So, what in the world are these strange things and how can they help?
Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants, and they are both used by the eye to absorb and filter out harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. These antioxidants can be found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables. You want to consume at least 5.8 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin a day, and here’s the best lutein and zeaxanthin sources.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin Sources and Content
|Broccoli||1 cup cooked||2.1 mg|
|Brussel Sprouts||1 cup cooked||3.4 mg|
|Collard Greens||1 cup cooked||15.3 mg|
|Corn||1 cup cooked||1.4-3.0 mg|
|Green Pepper||1 cup raw||0.9 mg*|
|Kale||1 cup cooked||20.5 mg|
|Leeks||1 cup raw||1.6 mg|
|Lettuce, Cos or Romaine||1 cup raw||1.5 mg|
|Mustard Greens||1 cup cooked||8.4 mg|
|Orange Pepper||1 cup raw||1.5 mg**|
|Peas, Green||1 cup cooked||2.3 mg|
|Spinach||1 cup cooked||3-6-12.6 mg|
|Turnip Greens||1 cup cooked||12.1 mg|
|Winter Squash||1 cup cooked||3.0 mg|
*Green peppers contain only lutein.
**Orange peppers contain only zeaxanthin.