How Carotenoids (Lutein & Zeaxanthin) Improve Eyesight?

How Carotenoids Improve Eyesight

Today, we will discuss how carotenoids improve eyesight effectively. And will also look at different sources that contain this important nutrient as humans cannot produce it in the body.

If you are looking for ways to skip your routine eye checkup, then it is worth considering carotenoids.

Several nutritional research found carotenoids as one of the key role players when it comes to maintain excellent vision for the long time.

Carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin are known to protect Macula by absorbing 90% ultraviolet and blue light.

So, let’s dive deeper to understand the correlation between carotenoids and eyesight.

What Are Carotenoids?

An important phytonutrient found in the cells of many plants, alage, and bacteria.

These plant pigments are responsible for the red, orange, and yellow shades in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Carotenoids do not only protect plants but also very beneficial for human health as well.

According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, these pigments work as antioxidants in the human body and can help you to fight with cancer as well.

Besides that, our body can convert some carotenoids into vitamin A, which is very important for eye health.

Eating plant based foods contain carotenoids can boost your immune system and give a protection against several inflammations. These plant pigments are also aid in cardiovascular diseases prevention.

Regular ingestion of carotenoids is often associated with prevention of chronic eye diseases like AMD and Cataracts.

How Carotenoids Improve Eyesight?

Macula is the central and most delicate part of the retina where our sharpest vision is generated. This is a very small portion in our eyes which helps us to recognise color difference.

Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin are three dietary carotenoids that form macular pigments in the central part of the retina.

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of macula pigments prevent macular degeneration by reducing oxidative effect of blue light on the retina.

Blue lights with short wavelengths cause glare and visual impairments. Carotenoids help macula to filter out visible blue light to provide clear vision.

List of Foods Contain this Eye Friendly Nutrient

As our body could not synthesize carotenoids. Hence, humans need to depend on diet and supplementations to increase the density of macular pigments.

Below are the natural sources that contain significant amount of eye-healthy carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin)…

  • Kale (Leaf Cabbage)
  • Spinach (Savoy, Semi-Savoy, Leaf Spinach)
  • Swiss chard (Red and Green Chard Leaves)
  • Mustard greens (Leaf Mustard)
  • Turnip greens
  • Collards (Colewort)
  • Green peas
  • Summer squash (You Can Try its Different Varieties)
  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Dried apricots, peaches, and prunes
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Grapes
  • Corn products

Out of all the aforementioned sources, Kale and Spinach rule the list by providing 18,250 and 12,200 mcg lutein/zeaxanthin per 100 g of food.

As far as meso-zeaxanthin is concerned, there is a general consensus claiming that meso-zeaxanthin is not found in plants and was considered as non-dietary.

However, the claim of considering “meso-zeaxanthin as non-dietary” proved wrong in 1986 when Nolan’s group found the presence of this stereoisomer of zeaxanthin in skin & flesh of trout, sardines, and salmon.

In brief, this is how carotenoids improve eyesight. So, have foods contain carotenoids in your diet dish to have crystal clear vision.

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