How do you take care of your eyes? In this era of social media, people spend a lot of their time working in front of computer monitors or browse Facebook timelines on their smartphones. Besides the mind and fingers, your eyes are the most used and tired parts of the body when you use your gadgets.
Global statistics on eye health have become alarming. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that there are 314 million people worldwide who experience low vision and blindness. In the local front, the Department of Health reported that there are almost 300,000 Filipinos who are bilaterally blind. Cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are the leading causes of blindness.
The disturbing data on global blindness make eye health and care relevant matters that need to be discussed. Lutein, considered as the “eye vitamin”, is one of the most popular nutrients that protects the eyes. What are the food sources of lutein? What are the foods containing lutein? What are the secrets of lutein?
Lutein: The Antioxidant that Protects Your Eyes and Skin
Lutein is an essential nutrient that helps protect the eyes from damage and other disorders. It is also a type of carotenoid or plant pigments that give bright colors to many fruits and vegetables. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids that can be found in the retina. It has also antioxidant properties that absorb free radicals from light that damage the eyes and can cause eye diseases.
Foods high in lutein include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli. Other sources of lutein are fruits such as kiwi, grapes and oranges. Egg yolks, squash and sweet corn are also good food sources of lutein.
How does lutein keep the eyes healthy?
Lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of blindness. It acts as a filter that blocks the harmful blue light from reaching the sensitive eye parts. It also helps prevent the free radicals from causing eye damage that affect vision through time.
Lutein supplementation also aids in keeping eye vision clear and free from cloudiness that may lead to cataract growth. Both young and old people need enough supply of lutein to keep their eyes healthy and prevent further damage to the eyes for those who are suffering from various visual conditions. Lutein can also help lessen eye stress, reduce light sensitivity and gain clearer and focused vision.
How much lutein do you need?
Doctors recommend that you take six to ten milligrams of lutein everyday through diet or supplements. Remember that the human body can’t produce lutein so it is important to include foods that are high in lutein such as green leafy vegetables and fruits in your regular diet. You can also consult your doctor to know the appropriate dose of lutein supplements for your needs.
Now that you know the food sources of lutein, how are you going to incorporate this nutrient into your diet?