Z is for Zeaxanthin


By Megan Barnes, Dietetic Intern

As we age, natural degeneration of bodily functions takes place, one being vision and eye health. Cataracts and macular degeneration are two of the most common age-related changes that can happen to your vision. Studies have shown that consuming antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin can be beneficial to promote vision and eye health and can even work to prevent age-related eye diseases.

Zeaxanthin is a nutrient associated with carotenoids, which give plants their color. 

Foods that are rich in zeaxanthin and lutein:
Swiss Chard
Mustard Greens
Green Peas
Summer Squash
Brussel Sprouts
Egg Yolks

Zeaxanthin and lutein also exist in the macula of the eye and prevent free radicals from entering the eye, such as harmful light. These nutrients protect us against macular degeneration which ultimately leads to decreased vision impacting our ability to read, drive, watch TV, view our computer, phone screens, and even recognize faces. Just another great reason to eat your leafy greens!