Carotenoids are the plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their festive colors. They are also hardworking antioxidants that have been shown to protect against lung, heart, breast, and prostate cancers. There are more than 600 known carotenoids, but the most well-known are lycopene, betacarotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. The last two, lutein and zeaxanthin, are noteworthy components of eye health.
The benefits of these two carotenoids lie in the retina of the human eye. Lutein and zeaxanthin are very concentrated in the center of the retina, and have been shown to block certain wavelengths of blue light. Blue light and other retina stresses are what cause and aggravate age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55 in Western nations. Sweet corn, canned or whole kernel // 528 mcg Spinach, raw // 331 mcg Collards, cooked without salt // 266 mcg Romaine lettuce // 187 mcg Spinach, cooked without salt // 179 mcg
Tangerines, raw (mandarin oranges) // 112 mcg Oranges, raw // 74 mcg