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Get your dose of lutein from spinach smoothie

Boost your eye health with lutein, an antioxidant that you get from spinach smoothie. © Shutterstock

A new study finds that that the best source of the antioxidant lutein is a spinach smoothie. Here, we brief you about the benefits of this antioxidant while shedding light on the best way to retain this antioxidant in a spinach preparation.

Written by Aishwarya Vaidya |Updated : December 25, 2018 2:20 PM IST

Lutein, also known as 'the eye vitamin,' is a type of carotenoid antioxidant known for protecting eye health. It is mostly found in leafy green vegetables and the other fruits and vegetables, which are orange or yellow. According to a recent research from the Link ping University, Sweden, the best way to load up on lutein is to have spinach smoothie or juice. This preparation helps you maximise the levels of lutein. The researchers found that the retention of this antioxidant in a recipe is determined by the way of cooking it. They observed that boiling spinach for a longer time may not be helpful and it may tend to retain less lutein. Also, frying this dark, leafy vegetable at high temperature can result in the loss of lutein in two minutes.

The researchers in their previous study had found that lutein can reduce inflammation in immune cells of the people suffering from the coronary artery disease. Furthermore, it can be stored in immune cells. We unearth the top health benefits of lutein.

It can protect your skin

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Lutein is also present within the skin and can preserve your skin health and fight skin cancer. "Lutein filters high-energy wavelengths of visible light, which can help down the rate of oxidative stress," says Ankita Ghag, Clinical Dietician, InBody India. Various studies observed that lutein protects light-induced skin damage, like signs of ageing and skin cancer.

It can help manage diabetes

Few studies suggest that higher levels of lutein and other carotenoids in the blood are associated with fewer problems controlling blood sugar and a lower risk for diabetes or related complications. Few studies conducted on rats suggest that supplementing lutein and DHA (a crucial type of omega-3 fatty acid) helped regularize all diabetes-induced biochemical modifications. When compared to the rats who didn't take lutein and DHA, the rats who were taking the supplements tend to have lower oxidative stress rates and despite being hyperglycemic.

It can be helpful for your heart

Lutein is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can be beneficial for your heart and may reduce inflammation, which can be an underlying cause of coronary heart disease. Tons of research suggest that xanthophyll carotenoids along with lutein can cut down your risk of suffering from heart attacks or strokes. According to a study carried out by the University of Southern California, low levels of lutein in your blood may result in the thickening of artery walls. Furthermore, this can increase your risk of arteriosclerosis (refers to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaque), which can restrict blood flow). According to a study in the journal Atherosclerosis, compared to people with healthy hearts, the ones with atherosclerosis had considerably lower blood levels of lutein and the lower levels of lutein were tied to greater stiffness in the carotid arteries.

It can keep cancer at bay

Several studies revealed that people with higher levels of lutein in the blood will be able to keep breast, colon and cervical cancer away. Foods rich in lutein (like leafy greens and citrus fruits) provide other beneficial antioxidants and nutrients which lower disease-causing inflammation and oxidative stress.

It can help you deal with eye problems

"Lutein can help reduce eye fatigue. Your peepers may get tried by continuously looking at the computer, using your mobile phones and so on. Hence, leutin can strengthen your eye tissue," says Ghag. Many studies claimed that lutein can lower the risk for macular degeneration ( a disease which affects the retina, that is a layer at the back of the eyeball. This layer has light-sensitive cells which help you grant vision). Other studies also showed that higher dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin along with vitamin E can eliminate your risk of cataract.

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