Improve your brain power with lutein and zeaxanthin

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(NaturalHealth365) Plant-based nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, are both known for protecting your eyes.  But, many people don’t realize there’s actually a connection between your eye health and brain power.

For example, did you know that when an ophthalmologist examines your optic nerve and retina, they’re actually looking at your brain cells?  Today, we’ll look at how lutein and zeaxanthin can offer you some amazing brain health benefits.

The science is pretty clear: several studies have discovered that zeaxanthin and lutein both offer the ability to improve your brainpower.  In fact, the levels of these nutrients in your retina directly correlate with the levels in your brain tissue.

In addition, research has found that when you have higher macular levels of both zeaxanthin and lutein, it translates into better cognitive performance and brain function when compared to individuals with lower levels of these nutrients.

Boost your brain power with lutein and zeaxanthin, studies confirm

In a 2017 study, functional MRI scans showed that people with higher levels of the nutrients had better neural efficiency on a test of memory and learning. A follow-up study done in 2019 found that those improvements were specifically areas of the brain associated with motor coordination, processing, visual-spatial perception, and decision making.

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Another study done at the University of Georgia showed that daily supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin improved brain function. One study looked at healthy aging adults who were broken into two groups.

One group received supplements of zeaxanthin and lutein, and the other group received a placebo. Over a year, the placebo group’s ability to recall and learn word pairs got worse, while it remained the same in those taking the supplements.

Lutein and zeaxanthin improve cognitive performance, as well

Beyond boosting brain function, researchers have also discovered that lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with improved cognitive performance. Higher levels of these nutrients are linked to improved memory, recall, overall cognition, processing, and verbal learning.

Studies also found that supplementing with these plant-based nutrients can support improved cognitive functioning older and young populations. Supplementation also resulted in increased reasoning ability, complex attention, and spatial memory.

While you should make sure you get enough of the carotenoid pigments lutein and zeaxanthin for vision and retinal health, supplementing can also boost brainpower.  Studies support taking 10 mg per day of lutein and 2 mg per day of zeaxanthin to see improvements in neural efficiency and brain blood flow.

This results in better cognitive performance in tasks that require judging, learning and thinking.

Certain foods are also excellent sources of these nutrients. Lutein and zeaxanthin are responsible for the beautiful bright colors you see in many vegetables and fruits, but you’ll find them in exceptionally high amounts in leafy green vegetables like, kale and collard greens.

If you’re looking for more food choices, try adding some parsley, broccoli, red peppers, grapes, honeydew melon, orange juice, squash or kiwi.  And, don’t forget to always choose organic – whenever possible, your brain will thank you for the effort.

Sources for this article include:

LifeExtension.com
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
Healthline.com