‘Carrots help you to see in the dark’, so many people say…and to some extent, it’s true, because the carotenes contained within them can be used by the body for conversion into vitamin A, which is important for eye health.
However, this was just the start of our understanding of carotenoids. As science progressed, researchers looked for the colour-compounds in foods, and discovered many different types of carotenoids in plants and algae.
Before long, many different forms of carotenoids had been discovered and research looked at their role in health maintenance.
Men who liked tomatoes, especially from sauces and purees, enjoyed them knowing that the red carotenoid they contained, lycopene, could help support prostate health, whilst the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin were useful for eye health. Studies showed that these carotenoids could help the eyes to manage the effects of blue light and could also maintain eye health in later years, when macular degeneration is a consideration.
Natural food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include: Kale, spinach, green peas, green beans, broccoli, eggs.