In my last blog post, I reported on research findings that the natural compound lutein is not only important for good vision and eye health. It could also help to protect against metabolic syndrome, heart attack, stroke, various cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
All these health problems are also complications of diabetes, so it makes sense for anybody with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to ensure they are getting a good supply of this valuable nutrient. Luckily, lutein is naturally present in a wide range of foods. The most concentrated sources are:
- Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and chard. You will absorb most lutein from these vegetables if they are lightly cooked or are whizzed up in a smoothie.
- Sweet corn, which gets much of its yellow colour from its lutein content. Lutein is fat-soluble, so eating sweet corn with butter or olive oil aids its absorption.
- Egg yolks, which should be organic whenever possible and are best consumed raw or soft-boiled. Eggs are also a good source of vitamin D, as I mentioned here.
- Kiwi fruit. These handy little fruits aren’t only bursting with vitamin C, they are also surprisingly high in lutein.
- Pumpkin. Which is great to know, since there’s nothing better than oven-roasted pumpkin to cheer a person up on a cold winter night!
- Courgettes (zucchini). These versatile veggies can be grated raw in salads, steamed, stir-fried or roasted. If you have a “Spiralizer”, you can also make them into a spaghetti substitute.
In addition to these food sources, lutein is usually a main ingredient in nutritional supplements for eye health. It is important to find one with a high level of lutein, not just a token amount – you should be aiming for a daily dose of 10 to 30 mg of lutein.
Lutein is a good example of the way natural compounds, unlike prescription drugs, can show a wide range of beneficial health effects without any adverse side effects. Another great example of this is the “drumstick tree” or “miracle tree”, Moringa oleifera. Extracts of this tree’s leaves have been found to reduce blood sugar levels, regenerate damaged beta cells (insulin-producing cells) in the pancreas and a whole lot more, as I explain in my next blog post.Wishing you the best of health,
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth
Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Category: Vitamins and Nutrients