Carotenoids are pigments that produce the bright colors of yellow, red and orange in plants, fruits, and vegetables. There are more than 600 carotenoids classified into two types of groups: carotenes and xanthophylls. Both groups contain antioxidant properties that protect against disease by making your immune system stronger. They can also be converted into Vitamin A, that offer health benefits including growth, immune system function, and eye health.
Our eyes today are consistently exposed to blue light from our phones, TV, and computers. This blue light stimulates sensors in your eyes and sends signals to your brain to make it think that it’s daytime. Exposure to large quantities of blue light can cause macular degeneration which can cause vision loss. Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that causes the loss of central vision in the eye. It is the number one cause of vision loss. Lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids in the retina of the eye can absorb these blue light wavelengths and help prevent damage.
Having at least six milligrams of lutein carotenoids in your daily diet can help decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration. There are numerous fruits and vegetables that contain carotenoids. For example, kale, spinach, avocado, and egg yolks contain xanthophyll carotenoids that are essential for your eye health. Carotene carotenoids can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, tangerines, and tomatoes. The highest concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids can be found in leafy greens like kale, spinach, and swiss chard. Incorporating carotenoids into your diet can also aid in slowing down and reducing any eye damage from further progression.
Learn about how nutrition and supplements can support your eye health at Valley Eyecare Center. Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor today. Call us at 602-955-2700 or book your appointment online.