15 Fruits and Vegetables That Are Rich in Lutein
Lutein is a carotenoid, a plant pigment with a yellow color, similar to beta carotene. Like beta carotene, lutein is important for healthy eyes. You can find it concentrated in the retinas of your eyes, where it helps protect healthy vision.1 Studies suggest that getting enough lutein can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts as you age2.
Eat these 15 colorful fruits and vegetables to get more lutein in your diet:
1. Kale: Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition. It contains Lutein as well as vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin K and vitamin A. It's also a low-calorie food, so make sure you include it in your healthy diet.
2. Winter Squash: Winter squash, such as acorn and butternut squash, includes high levels of vitamin A as well as plenty of Lutein. It also includes potassium and many other vitamins and minerals.
3. Collards: Collards are similar to most greens in that they have a lot of vitamins and minerals. This includes high levels of Lutein, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. They also have high levels of magnesium and calcium, along with being a good source of vitamins K and C.
4. Yellow Sweetcorn: Along with having high levels of Lutein, you will find plenty of potassium, fiber, and B vitamins in sweet corn. You can also include popcorn in your diet for additional fiber and Lutein.
5. Spinach: This green leafy vegetable is very good for you. It is a good resource for Lutein as well as calcium, iron, potassium and vitamins A, C and K.
6. Swiss Chard: This leafy vegetable known for its colorful stems is a rich source of Lutein and low in calories. You can also eat it for calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamins A, C and K. Boil or sauté it with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a nice treat.
7. Green Peas: Most people try to avoid peas on their plate, but they are very good for you. Along with containing Lutein, they have plenty of potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and B complex vitamins.
8. Arugula: This green leafy vegetable, also known as rocket, has a lot of Lutein and almost every other conceivable vitamin and mineral. It's also a low-calorie food.
9. Brussel Sprouts: Brussel sprouts have high levels of many vitamins and minerals and are a great resource for Lutein and fiber. At only 56 cal per cup, you can include them in your weight loss diet.
10. Broccoli Rabe: This is a great source for vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A and K. It also contains lots of Lutein.
11. Pumpkin: The orange flesh of pumpkin is high in potassium and Lutein. As long as you avoid adding too much sugar, it is also a low-calorie food.
12. Egg Yolks: One of the animal sources for Lutein is egg yolk. In fact, it is why the color of the yoke is yellow. Eggs also offer lots of protein.
13. Sweet Potatoes: You can add sweet potatoes to your healthy diet to get plenty of Lutein, vitamin A, potassium, beta-carotene, magnesium, fiber and vitamin C.
14. Carrots: High levels of Lutein, vitamin A, and beta-carotene make these ideal for the health of your eyes. They also contain potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and a number of B vitamins.
15. Asparagus: Many nutrients are available in asparagus, including Lutein, calcium and magnesium. It is also a great resource for vitamins A, K and C. Since it is a low-calorie food, you can enjoy it guilt free.
According to an age-related eye disease study, supplementing with large doses of lutein, along with zinc, vitamins C, E, copper, and beta-carotene, may help to reduce the progression of macular degeneration. NATURELO's AREDS 2 Eye Health Vitamins includes all the nutrients used in that study, including 40mg of lutein from marigold flowers.
2. Lutein and zeaxanthin intake and the risk of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis, 2012 Feb;107(3):350-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511004260. Epub 2011 Sep 8
3. Nutrients for the aging eye, 2013 Jun 19