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If you are wanting to avoid eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts, a good way to start is to consume the right diet. You need specific nutrients and foods for healthy eyes, but of special note are lutein and zeaxanthin. What are they and how do they keep your eyes healthy?

Lutein and zaexanthin are carotenoids, pigments that provide plants orange, red, and yellow colors. Among their functions is protecting plants from high energy light beams known as blue light. In fact, the macula comprises a third kind of carotenoid, as stated in recent research. This pigment, called meso-zeaxanthin, is produced in the retina using ingested lutein and isn’t found in any food source.

The Benefits Of Lutein And Zeaxanthin

The primary benefit of lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin has to do with how they shield the eyes from blue light. They also work together with other antioxidants like vitamins E and C and beta-carotene to defend the body from free radicals which damage the cells and lead to many ailments.

The advantages of the three carotenoids are well-documented in many of studies published in reputable journals. The American Journal of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology released research associating high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin with reduced incidences of macular degeneration. Two research in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science found roughly similar effects because elevated levels of macular pigments meant lower risks of developing AMD.

Furthermore, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS and AREDS2) formulated a daily antioxidant containing vitamins C and E, zinc, Animal Removal and copper, in addition to lutein and zeaxanthin. The stated study did not clarify whether lutein and zeaxanthin also reduced the risk of cataracts.

Foods Containing Lutein And Zeaxanthin

Both of these nutrients are abundant in yellow and green vegetables, especially leafy ones. Cooked spinach and cooked kale are considered top sources. They are also found in non-vegetarian sources, particularly egg yolks. But it would be best to stick to vegetarian things if you’ve got high cholesterol levels.


Exactly like the rest of the body, the eyes need proper nutrition to stay healthy and free from diseases. Consuming food items rich in lutein and zeaxanthin is a fantastic way to keep excellent vision.

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