Proper nutrition won’t only maintain your physical strength; it can also keep your eyesight healthy and well-functioning throughout your lifetime. Food with lutein and zeaxanthin are two essential eye nutrients that can reduce your risk for low vision-related diseases, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Read on as Myopia Institute, a myopia control clinic, discusses how you can benefit from these two eye nutrients.
Where to Find Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These two types of carotenoids are characterized by their yellow and red pigments found in vegetables and other plants. They are used to absorb excess light energy to prevent damage, especially from high-energy rays called blue light. Apart from plants, lutein and zeaxanthin can also be found in the macula. These vitamins give the macula the yellowish color. In a recent study, researchers discovered a third carotenoid in the macula called meso-zeaxanthin. This pigment is created in the retina from ingested lutein.
Many studies show the benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin, especially when it comes to preventing macular degeneration. That’s because it’s believed that these two carotenoids block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, which decreases the risk of light-induced oxidative eye damage. It is still important, however, to visit your eye doctor for eye health care instead of relying solely on foods with lutein and zeaxanthin.
Apart from macular degeneration, lutein and zeaxanthin can also reduce the risk of cataract formation. Since these two carotenoids are natural antioxidants, they help neutralize free radicals that can cause oxidative stress and retinal damage.
Green and yellow vegetables are the best natural food source of lutein and zeaxanthin. Cooked kale and spinach are on the top of the list, followed by collard and turnip greens, corn, green peas and broccoli. Eggs are also a good source of this two carotenoids, but if you have high cholesterol, it’s best to stick to yellow fruits and vegetables. Regular eye checkups with your local optometrist, however, is still necessary to detect eyesight diseases and slow down their progression.
To learn more about eye health care and myopia control, get in touch with an eye specialist in the area.