Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids (phytonutrients found in yellow, orange, and leafy green vegetables) that are especially beneficial for your eyes. These two nutrients can be likened to a pair of sunglasses. They work by filtering harmful UV rays, thereby protecting the cells from damage. To help prevent oxidation of the macula, a cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), be sure to get enough lutein and zeaxanthin in your diet.
A study published in the November 1994 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 356 people aged 55 to 80 with advanced AMD. Researchers found that an increased intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin was strongly associated with a decreased risk for AMD.
I recommend taking 15 mg of lutein and 3 mg of zeaxanthin a day to support the health of your eyes.
You should also increase your intake of foods that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. These include yellow and orange foods, such as corn and sweet potatoes, and green leafy vegetables, especially spinach and collard greens, as well as broccoli, zucchini, celery, and romaine lettuce.