Zeaxanthin is an important antioxidant that serves a number of biological functions in the eye and brain. It is found in leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli and brightly colored fruits and vegetables like corn, bell peppers, and paprika peppers.
But how much zeaxanthin is actually in the food you consume? We broke it down for you!
The role food plays in our health is huge. The quality of your eye health heavily depends on your diet and how much zeaxanthin it contains. Millions of Americans over the age of 55 suffer from severe vision loss, which can be connected to their diets.
But don’t worry! Knowing what kinds of foods contain zeaxanthin and how much you need daily can help you protect your vision from developing age-related eye health issues.
What kinds of foods have the most zeaxanthin?
As you can see in the graphic above, dark, leafy greens, as well as orange peppers, typically have the largest amounts of zeaxanthin. These foods build your “internal sunglasses,” which is your macular pigment. The denser your macular pigment is in the back of your eye, the more protected your vision is. About 8 milligrams of zeaxanthin is recommended to keep your eyes healthy and protected.
How can we possibly eat that much food?
Committing to eating more foods with zeaxanthin is a great way to help protect your vision – however, you’d have to eat 20 ears of corn in a single day to get enough zeaxanthin and lutein (another eye-healthy nutrient) to protect your eyes.
Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, says that the typical American diet does not include many foods containing zeaxanthin and lutein. This leaves more people defenseless against age-related eye health issues.
“When estimating average daily dietary intake, we found that most people, regardless of sex or ethnicity, obtain less than 1.2mg of lutein and less than 0.12mg of zeaxanthin. Those levels are far below the quantities that have been shown to be beneficial for reducing the risk for [age-related eye health issues] and its progression.”
Our bodies don’t produce zeaxanthin, which means we have to obtain the right amounts through our diets – that’s where eye vitamins come into play. Taking daily eye vitamins with zeaxanthin gives you the amount you need to build up your macular pigment and improve your overall eye health.
Click HERE to watch recipes that are packed with ingredients that help support eye health.