Lutein and zeaxanthin are the two carotenoids present in many of the fruits and vegetables that we eat regularly. These carotenoids give fruits and vegetables their yellow to a reddish hue. Structurally, both these carotenoids are very similar. The only difference is in the arrangement of some of their atoms.
It was found that both lutein and zeaxanthin possess antioxidant effects, which is very helpful in preventing oxidative stress. Studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin can offer a lot of health benefits. Therefore, adding fruits and vegetables high in these carotenoids to your vegan meals can be beneficial for your body.
Both lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants. That means they could help in preventing cell damage caused by free radicals. Many experts recommend adding foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin to your vegan diet because they can help in improving your skin and eye health.
Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Improves Your Eye Health
Studies have found that both lutein and zeaxanthin can accumulate in the macula region of your eye. Both lutein and zeaxanthin can protect your eye from many free radical molecules because of their antioxidant properties. They also absorb excess light energy and act as a natural sunblock. According to some of the recent studies, both lutein and zeaxanthin can help in preventing age-related macular degeneration cataracts, Uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, and eye detachment.
Protects Your Skin
Recent studies are showing that both lutein and zeaxanthin have many skin-protecting properties. Its antioxidant properties can protect the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays from the skin. One recent study has found that UVB-induced skin inflammation is lower in people who follow a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Another study has found that taking 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin daily can help in improving your skin tone.
Best Sources Of Lutein And Zeaxanthin
Fruits and vegetables are the plant-based sources of these carotenoids. It was found that leafy green vegetables also provide great amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, etc. are some of the leafy green vegetables that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Just one gram of kale can provide around 48-115 mcg of lutein, which makes it one of the best plant-based sources of lutein. Fruits like kiwis, red peppers, honeydew melon, orange, grapes, and squash are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. You will also get good amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin from corn and durum wheat.