Zeaxanthin: What it is and Why it’s Good for Your Vision

by Ben Boyle on 15th February 2022

Zeaxanthin & eye health

Whether you’ve worn  glasses all your life or simply wish to keep your vision as healthy as possible, altering your lifestyle to support your most important organ is a process that never truly ends. From exercise to health supplements, there is a growing number of evidence-backed strategies that can be used to ensure you take care of your vision for decades to come.

Of these, the benefits provided by antioxidants remains one of the most effective and easy to complete — especially considering how common they are. In this article, we’ll specifically review the zeaxanthin antioxidant to help you understand how it improves your eye health and — most importantly — how you can increase your intake.


What is Zeaxanthin?

The human eye contains three separate carotenoids to help keep your vision operating as usual and reduce your risk of developing eye disease: lutein, meso-zeaxanthin, and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are usually bright orange, red, or yellow, and are solely received by your body via your diet.

Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean they’re impossible to find. In fact, there are currently 700 known carotenoids found throughout nature in things like fungi, plants, algae, fruits, and vegetables. Of these, only 20 have ever been identified in the human body, with the eye primarily being home to lutein and zeaxanthin.

The former of the two can be found in the retina’s peripheral areas, while the latter mostly resides in its direct center. As a pair, these fat-soluble antioxidants form the building blocks of the eye’s macular pigment (i.e., the portion of your eye that protects it from damage from harsh blue light), though zeaxanthin is the most effective.


How Does Zeaxanthin Improve My Vision?

As we mentioned before, zeaxanthin has a direct link to your overall vision. So, exactly what improvements does the antioxidant provide when absorbed by your body? These include:

  • Light Protection: UV rays and harsh blue light are found almost everywhere in the world, posing a direct threat to your long-term vision health if absorbed on a frequent basis. Fortunately, your body already has a built-in protection against these dangers in the form of carotenoids, as zeaxanthin can prevent them from causing increased harm to the organ.

  • Improved Eyesight: Some research has also found a relationship between high levels of zeaxanthin and improved vision, particularly when it comes to areas with high glare or dim lighting.

  • Reduced Eye Disease Risk: Though eye disease remains a common worry amongst most individuals, regardless of their current eye health, there are methods available to reduce the risk of encountering these concerns. Of these, consuming foods that are high in zeaxanthin and other key antioxidants has been found to be an incredible strategy, with some studies discovering that those who did so were half as likely to develop cataracts. Other conditions it could potentially prevent include diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, and age-related macular degeneration.   

As you can see, zeaxanthin is just one of many natural supplements the body can utilize to its advantage, offering a diverse range of benefits guaranteed to keep your vision strong for years to come.


Are there Side Effects to Zeaxanthin?  

Fortunately, there are currently no major side effects linked to high levels of zeaxanthin, though individuals with fair skin might see a mild yellow coloration on their flesh if regularly consuming more than 10 mg per day.

Which Foods Are High in Zeaxanthin?

Fortunately, zeaxanthin is another antioxidant identified throughout nature, so you won’t need to worry about having trouble finding it. In fact, you likely already include it within your current diet.

For the most protection against future eye concerns, be sure to consume foods such as:

  • Spinach: 1 cup equals 20.4 mg of zeaxanthin
  • Collard Greens: 1 cup equals 14.6 mg of zeaxanthin
  • Kale: 1 cup equals 23.8 mg of zeaxanthin
  • Broccoli: 1 cup equals 1.6 mg of zeaxanthin
  • Turnip Greens: 1 cup equals 12.2 mg of zeaxanthin
  • Corn: 1 cup equals 2.2 mg of zeaxanthin

If you have trouble acquiring these ingredients or simply want a more convenient way to increase your antioxidants consumption, there is an increasing number of zeaxanthin supplements available on the market you can turn to.   

Furthermore, 2 mg/day of zeaxanthin is generally thought to be enough to maintain eye health, so don’t feel as if you need to overcompensate your dosage. Even just one antioxidant-rich meal per day could be enough to keep your vision well-fortified against disease!

Conclusion

Though it might seem impossible to prevent eye disease and other complications, the evidence clearly shows that natural benefits such as zeaxanthin can keep your eyesight strong for years. Ensuring your glasses are the right prescription for your eyes is also highly important when it comes to eye health, that’s where we can help. Glasses2You are a leading supplier of glasses online, our glasses are tailor made to your prescription,  browse our range of glasses now!

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