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10 top food sources of lutein for eye health

Posted on Jul 07, 2017  | Tags: fruit and vegetables, good for you, eye health, lutein

Lutein is known as the eye vitamin. Along with zeaxanthin, it is a dietary carotenoid pigment found in high concentrations in the macula area of the eye. Its role as an antioxidant is to protect the lens and retina from the absorption of harmful blue - UV light and to mop up free radicals produced through oxidative stress in the eye area. Over time and without sufficient lutein, continued exposure to light and environmental stress can lead to various eye diseases including age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Luckily there is an abundant supply of brightly coloured fresh produce available from our local greengrocer which can help top up and maintain healthy levels of lutein for our eye health.

Where to find lutein and how much should we eat?

Think of any colourful fruit or vegetable and there’s a good chance it will supply some amount of lutein. The table below shows some of the best food sources of lutein recommended by the Australian Macular Degeneration Foundation. While there is no standard dietary guideline on how much lutein we should consume each day, the Australian Macular Degeneration Foundation suggest 6 mg is a healthy amount.

10 top food sources of lutein for eye health

Cooking methods to maximise on nutrients

Like some other nutrients, lutein is destroyed with extensive heat and cooking therefore to ensure you obtain the recommended amount of lutein, aim to eat a little more than 6 mg each day and allow for some nutrient loss through cooking. You’ll lose less lutein if you steam or stir-fry veggies in preference to boiling and baking: Better still, you’ll lose nothing if you incorporate raw salads with fresh raw into your daily diet.  

Dress them up with a little oil or butter!

Everyone knows vegetables and salad taste even better with a little olive oil or butter served over the top of them. The combination is better for your eye health as well since lutein is an oil soluble nutrient and requires some fat to facilitate its absorption into the body.  

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