Lutein and zeaxanthin are two vital carotenoid pigments made by plants that give fruits and vegetables a yellow to reddish colour. These carotenoids are profusely found in green leaves and colourful fruits and vegetables, while lutein and zeaxanthin are also found in high concentrations in the macula of the human eye, giving it a yellowish colour. They are potent antioxidants which deliver a myriad of health benefits. Both of these natural antioxidants holds a significant role in safeguarding the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals and avert the risk of chronic diseases.
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Lutein and zeaxanthin are best known for maintaining eye health, lessen the progression of several eye conditions and also reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. While lutein and zeaxanthin work as supportive antioxidants protecting the skin from sun damage and slows down signs of ageing thereby improving the skin natural glow and tone.
Lutein may function well to enhance cognitive function. Evidence has revealed that lutein supports to preserve and trigger brain activity, improve learning skills, memory and verbal fluency. Furthermore, the antioxidant activity of lutein may also help to prevent atherosclerosis and lowers the risk of a heart attack.
Lutein is abundant in a spectrum of fruits and vegetables, but huge volumes are found in green and yellow foods. It is a fat-soluble nutrient, thus cooking or having lutein-rich foods with a source of healthy fat like olive or gingelly oil can greatly enhance its absorption in the system. Although lutein is found widely in many foods, most people only get about 30% of the recommended level from natural sources. This powerful antioxidant is also available as a dietary supplement.
Foray this infographic to know about the best dietary sources of lutein.