Zeaxanthin is a bioflavonoid pigment found in most herbs, fruits and vegetables. Bioflavonoid provides the body with antioxidants, which aid in destroying free radicals that harm the body system. Zeaxanthin belongs to subgroup xanthophylls of bioflavonoid called carotenoids and is abundant in dark, leafy green vegetables. The eye retina contains zeaxanthin, which is why its consumption is important.
Foods Containing Zeaxanthin
Foods that contain zeaxanthin include dark green leafy vegetable such as chicory greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, watercress, lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, parsley and spinach. Zeaxanthin is found in yellow foods such as yellow fruits, including pumpkin, sweet potato and tangerines; yellow vegetables, including squash, onions, carrots, beans, peppers, corn, zucchini; and egg yolks. See Resouces for a complete list of food containing zeaxanthin as well as the amount contained per food. Eat some of these foods everyday so you get the necessary amount of zeaxanthin for maximum benefits.
Supplements contain zeaxanthin but they usually also include other ingredients, such as lutein. The benefit to taking the zeaxanthin supplements is that you get other needed vitamins and minerals with zeaxanthin, which aids the body systems. Alternatively, if you do not consume many fruits and vegetables, taking the supplements provides the needed bioflavonoid.
Recommended Daily Amount
There is no daily-recommended allowance of zeaxanthin, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, but it is a good idea to follow the recommendations for eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Because most fruits and vegetables contain zeaxanthin you should consume a large portion of this bioflavonoid in your daily diet.
Zeaxanthin benefits include keeping the eye healthy by increasing the level of the macular pigment in the eye. The macular pigment degenerates with age, but it increases by ingesting zeaxanthin, which contains this ingredient. In a study by Schepens Eye Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, people older than 60 with high macular pigment density tested the same as younger subjects.
The ideal daily intake of this food is not known nor is it certain that taking this supplement will promote good eye health. Therefore, consult with your health care provider before adding this supplement to your daily diet.