Moringa powder can protect your good eyesight, among other health benefits… It’s a food rich in beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, and vitamin E. All important for good eyesight and healthy eyes…
What food can protect your eyesight?
- omega 3 fatty acids,
- vitamin E,
- and vitamin C.
Foods rich in these nutrients are important for eye health. Moreover, they can preserve your good eyesight, or even reduce the risk of certain eye diseases.
Moringa powder is rich in beta-carotene
According to a study of the University of Milan, scientists measured the amount of beta-carotene in moringa powder (Moringa oleifera). Moringa powder contains about 28.5 mg of beta-carotene per 100 gr (3).
That’s huge… Just for comparison, the second richest common food in beta-carotene is sweet potatoes. They contain about 9 mg of beta-carotene per 100 gr. Other foods rich in beta-carotene are carrots (8.3 mg), dandelion greens (5.9 mg), spinach (5.6 mg), beet greens (3,8 mg), and kale (2.9 mg) (4).
As you can see, moringa powder is the richest food source of beta-carotene. Prefer consuming foods high in beta-carotene. It’s much safer than beta-carotene supplements.
Why is beta-carotene important for eyesight?
Beta-carotene is a naturally occurring plant pigment that is converted into vitamin A in the body. It’s one of the most powerful carotenoids. Carotenoids have potent antioxidant action. So, beta-carotene fights free-radicals in the body.
Most noteworthy, beta-carotene is the primary dietary source of provitamin A. Furthermore, beta-carotene seems to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (5).
Also, vitamin A is important for the proper function of the cornea, the outer layer of the eye.
Additionally, vitamin A may protect us from eye inflammation and eye infections.
Another great health benefit of carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, is their ability to fight oxidative stress. Especially from blue light. Either from sun, or every other device. For instance, smartphones, televisions and computers screens emit blue light rays. Prefer polarized sunglasses, as they seem to protect against blue light.
There isn’t a recommended daily intake for beta-carotene. Scientific data shows that about 3-6 mg of beta-carotene per day, from food sources is good for you. Especially for reducing the risk of various chronic diseases (5).
Most people fail to consume this amount, though. The average intake of beta-carotene in the US is about 2.7 mg per day.
Moringa powder protects vision as it’s high in lutein & zeaxanthin
Moreover, moringa powder is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. It contains about 36 mg of lutein and 5.5 mg of zeaxanthin per 100 gr (6).
Moringa powder is the richest common food in lutein and zeaxanthin. By far…
Just for comparison, the second richest food in lutein and zeaxanthin is dandelion greens. They contain 13.6 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin per 100 gr. Other foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin are watercress (5.7 mg), basil (5.6 mg), Brussels Sprouts (1.6 mg), beet greens (1.5 mg), dried tomatoes (1.4 mg), and broccoli (0.7 mg) (7).
Why are lutein & zeaxanthin important for good vision?
Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful carotenoids with antioxidant properties.
Most noteworthy, they have been linked with a reduced risk of age-related diseases. Seems like lutein and zeaxanthin may prevent or even improve both age-related macular degeneration and cataracts (8).
Lutein and zeaxanthin are present in high concentrations in the eye. Moreover, lutein and zeaxanthin are highly concentrated in the retina of the eye. The retina of the eye has the highest lutein and zeaxanthin content than every other human tissue (9). Furthermore, lutein and zeaxanthin are also present in the lens of the eye.
One way that lutein and zeaxanthin protects our eyesight is by absorbing the dangerous blue light rays. Therefore, they protect the retina from phototoxic light damage.
But lutein and zeaxanthin have many other health benefits, as well. As powerful antioxidants, they fight chronic inflammation. There may decrease the risk of cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
The high vitamin C content of moringa powder protects eyesight
Another key vitamin for eye health is vitamin C.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements we need about 90 mg of vitamin C per day (10).
That’s easy to obtain if you follow a plant-based diet. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources. For instance, oranges (33 mg per 100 gr), lemons (53 mg per 100 gr), kiwi (92 mg), peppers (80-340 mg), broccoli (89 mg), kale (93 mg), and cauliflower (48 mg) are all good sources. See the whole list here.
But… what’s the amount of vitamin C in moringa powder?
Moringa powder may contain 270-870 mg of vitamin C per 100 gr (6). Depending on the processing method and region.
Therefore, only a tablespoon of moringa powder may contain up to 60 mg of vitamin C. That’s 67% DV (Daily Value).
Many studies have linked vitamin C intake with a decreased risk of cataracts. For better results, scientists propose the consumption of at least 300 mg of vitamin C per day.
Another study showed that people at high risk for age-related macular degeneration could delay the progression of the disease, if they increase the consumption of vitamin C, along with beta-carotene, vitamin E and zinc.
Seeds and nuts are the best sources of zinc.
Moringa powder protects eyesight due to high vitamin E content
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, we need about 15 mg of vitamin E per day (11).
Moringa powder is rich in vitamin E, as well. It has approximately 155 mg of vitamin E per 100 gr (6). So, a tablespoon of moringa powder may provide up to 10.8 mg of vitamin E. That’s 72% DV.
Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are the best sources of vitamin E.
Certainly, moringa powder is an excellent source of vitamin E. Without all the extra calories… 100 gr of moringa powder has only 285 calories. A tablespoon has only 20 calories. On the other hand, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils are pretty high in calories.
Moringa powder is rich in chlorophyll
Additionally, moringa powder is a food rich in chlorophyll. Fresh moringa leaves contain approximately 2.1 mg of chlorophyll per gram. Moreover, moringa powder contains up to 8.2 mg of chlorophyll per gram (6).
The pretty high amount of chlorophyll is the reason of the dark green color of moringa powder. Furthermore, the higher the chlorophyll content the better quality of moringa powder.
Other foods high in chlorophyll are wheatgrass powder (5.3 mg per gram), celery (4.5 mg), Brussels sprouts (3 mg), matcha green tea (1.8 mg), kale (1.45 mg), broccoli (1.4 mg), and spinach (0.85 mg).
See the whole list of foods rich in chlorophyll here.
Above all, moringa powder, wheatgrass powder, and algae, such as chlorella have the highest amount of chlorophyll.
Although most seaweed is a good source of chlorophyll, not everyone is good for you. Mainly due to the high iodine content. Seems like chlorella and spirulina are the best algae options. In most cases, they are cultivated in pools far away from the ocean. So, they are free from sea pollution.
Chlorophyll is good for you, as it can increase oxygen supply to tissues, alkalize the body, increase collagen production, detoxifies the body, boosts the immune system, or even help prevent some types of cancer (12).
Other foods that promote good eyesight
Last, but not least, according to the American Optometric Association, we should consume omega 3 fatty acids to protect our good vision (1).
Analytically, there are 3 main types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- ALA, that they are mainly found in plants,
- DHA and EPA, that they are mainly found in seafood and algae.
ALA are essential for the human body. We can’t synthesize them. On the contrary, ALA can be converted into EPA and then to DHA in the body. But, this conversion isn’t efficient. So, better consume DHA and EPA from food, as well.
Flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds are particularly rich in omega-3s. But they are high in ALA. You could take EPA and DHA supplements from algae, just to be sure you consume adequate amounts of the precious omega-3s. More about the importance of omega-3s and what food you should consume, here.