Lutein helps protect the eyes from damage which can lead to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is found in high concentrations in the macula of the human eye, known as the “macula lutea”. Dark green and yellow orange foods are good sources of lutein.
Studies confirm that as lutein levels increase in the eyes, there is a decrease in the amount of harmful light rays that reach the retina, where vision is produced.
Based on studies, the recommended daily amount of lutein to benefit vision is 12 mg.
One cup of cooked kale or spinach will give you more than 20 mg. of lutein. You can get an average of 12 mg. from one cup of cooked Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, or turnip greens, and a large orange bell pepper contains about 9 mg. The amount of lutein will vary based upon the nutrient content of the soil in which the food was grown, whether or not it is organic, and how it is prepared.
Other foods that contain varying amounts of lutein include romaine lettuce, leafy greens, asparagus, carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green peas, beet greens, Brussels sprouts, sweet corn, egg yolk, and green lentils.
Increase lutein in your daily diet by adding herbs and spices like basil, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, parsley, cilantro, marjoram, oregano, sage, cumin, chili powder, mustard seed, and cinnamon.
Nature’s Sunshine makes Lutein, a supplement that contains 10 mg. of lutein per capsule. You can order it at www.learningtobehealthy.mynsp.com.
Rinse one pound of organic green lentils, and place in a large stainless steel cooking pot with 10 cups of filtered water.
1 chopped yellow onion
2 stalks chopped, organic celery
1 peeled and diced sweet potato
2 peeled and diced organic yellow potatoes
4 large chopped, organic carrots
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about an hour, until lentils are tender.
1 tablespoon mineral-rich salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh, organic thyme or 4 teaspoons dried
2 teaspoons organic cumin
1/2 teaspoon organic black pepper or 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon organic cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
Continue to simmer for about half an hour or so.
When done, stir in 1 cup organic cilantro or parsley and 1 cup organic spinach or kale. Cover and let greens soften in hot soup.
Alternatively, instead of adding cilantro or parsley to soup pot, top each bowl of soup with a handful of the fresh herbs.
Serving idea: Cut off tops and scoop out seeds of organic orange bell peppers. Ladle some soup inside.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist, CNHP
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.