15 Fruits and Vegetables That Provide High Levels of Lutein

You may never have heard about Lutein before, but it is a pigment that is yellow or orange in color that is similar to vitamin A. You can find it concentrated in the retinas of your eyes, so getting enough in your daily diet is essential for healthy vision1Lutein is important for maintaining eye health and reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts2. It may also have protective effects on our skin and cardiovascular system. 

Research shows that vitamins and minerals in various foods can help protect your vision as you age3:


  • Minerals like zinc and selenium help protect the retina – the light-sensitive part on the back of the eye.
  • Vitamins A4, C, E, and zinc can help lower the risk of advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
  • Fatty acids help to moisturize your eyes.

We recommend eating these 15 colorful fruits and vegetables to get as much lutein in your diet each day:

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 includes acorn and butternut squash and it's an essential part of a healthy diet. It includes high levels of vitamin A as well as plenty of Lutein. Other benefits of winter squash include 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. 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 was known for its colorful stems but it is also a rich source of Lutein without having a lot of 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 as well as being 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: The 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.

BONUS: Lutein Supplements: According to an age-related eye disease study Using Twin Labs Ocuvite, 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. It might also help to preserve the vision for those who have early macular degeneration. But the reality is that most of us don’t consume enough lutein in our diets. Which is why we recommend NATURELO's AREDS 2 Eye Health Vitamins that includes 40mg of lutein from marigold flowers.

References:

1.  Lutein and Zeaxanthin—Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Protection, 2017 Feb. 17

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

4.  Nation Institute of Health | Fact Sheet for Health Professionals: Vitamin A