Lutein and zeaxanthin are mainly found in green leafy vegetables and colorful fruits, such as spinach, kale, corn, green peas, collards. They are found in broccoli, turnip greens, oranges, Romaine lettuce and squash. Zucchini, grapes, kiwi fruit, egg yolk and popcorn also contain high percentages of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are vital nutrients that are known for their ability to reduce the risk of eye diseases, including cataracts. They also work as antioxidants, guarding the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. One cup of cooked kale contains approximately 23.7 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin, while one cup of cooked spinach contains 20.4 milligrams. Carrots, leeks, celery and peppers are also considered as good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Brussels sprouts, iceberg lettuce and dandelion greens contain approximately 1 to 4 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin. On the other hand, canned vegetables, such as snap beans, okra, artichokes, green pepper and sauerkraut offer only 0.5 to 1 milligram per serving. Papayas, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches and canned tangerine juice contain 0.4 milligram of lutein and zeaxanthin per serving. Although there is no recommended daily amount of lutein and zeaxanthin, recent research indicates that a daily intake of about 6 to10 milligrams of both supplements may reduce age-related macular degeneration.