If you or someone you know is getting on in years, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with lutein. Lutein and another carotenoid, zeaxanthin, form the yellow pigment of the retina, and absorb blue light which is a potentially harmful component of sunlight. There is very good evidence that the lutein in food helps protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common age-related eye disorders. The best thing you can do for your eyes this month, and in the future, is to make sure your diet contains plenty of lutein-rich produce, including:
- Fruits - Mangoes, watermelon and tomatoes are good sources of lutein
- Vegetables - Corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, squash and dark leafy greens (such as kale, collards and bok choy) provide lutein
In addition to the foods listed above, you can get zeaxanthin through orange bell peppers, oranges, corn and honeydew melon. I recommend eating five to seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. If you are unable to get adequate lutein through your diet, you may want to consider a vision-supportive supplement; talk with your doctor. For more information on supporting healthy vision, check out Dr. Weil’s Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide!