Top 10 Foods Highest in Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids known for giving vegetables their green or orange colors. Like other carotenoids, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are thought to play a role in good eye health and preventing macular degeneration.

Foods high in Lutein and Zeaxanthin include dark leafy greens, herbs, salad greens, summer squash, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, green peas, leeks, and green beans. For more, see the list of high lutein and zeaxanthin foods by nutrient density, and the extended list of lutein and zeaxanthin rich foods.


#1: Dark Leafy Greens (Kale)
Lut+Zea in 100g1 cup, chopped (130g)
18246μg23719.8μg
Other Greens High in Lutein and Zeaxanthin (μg per cup cooked): Spinach (29811μg), Turnip Greens (19541μg), Sweet Potato Leaves (7327μg), Swiss Chard (19276μg), Collard Greens (18527μg), and Mustard Greens (14560μg).Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#2: Fresh Herbs (Basil)
Lut+Zea in 100g1/4 cup leaves, whole (6g)5 leaves (3g)
5650μg339μg141.3μg
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#3: Salad Greens (Lettuce)
Lut+Zea in 100g1 cup shredded (47g)1 leaf outer (28g)
2312μg1086.6μg647.4μg
Other Salad Greens High in Lutein and Zeaxanthin (μg per cup): Dandelion Greens (7486μg), Garden Cress (6250μg), Chicory Greens (2987μg), Radicchio (3533μg), and Arugula (711μg).Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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#4: Summer Squash
Lut+Zea in 100g1 cup, sliced (113g)1 medium (196g)
2125μg2401.3μg4165μg
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#5: Broccoli
Lut+Zea in 100g1 cup chopped (91g)1 stalk (151g)
1403μg1276.7μg2118.5μg
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#6: Brussels Sprouts
Lut+Zea in 100g1 cup (88g)1 sprout (19g)
1590μg1399.2μg302.1μg
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#7: Asparagus
Lut+Zea in 100g1/2 cup (90g)4 spears (1/2" base) (60g)
771μg693.9μg462.6μg
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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#8: Green Peas
Lut+Zea in 100g1 cup (160g)
2593μg4148.8μg
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#9: Leeks
Lut+Zea in 100g1/4 cup, chopped or diced (26g)1 leek (124g)
925μg240.5μg1147μg
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#10: Green (Snap) Beans
Lut+Zea in 100g1 cup (135g)
564μg761.4μg
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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Click each heading below for more information from MyFoodData.com

Kale19697μg per 100 gram serving25606.1μg per 1 cup, chopped (130 grams)12803.1μg per 1/2 cup, chopped or diced (65 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Kale (Cooked)
Paprika18944μg per 100 gram serving1288.2μg per 1 tbsp (7 grams)435.7μg per 1 tsp (2 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Paprika (Dried)
Spinach15690μg per 100 gram serving14905.5μg per 1/2 cup (95 grams)34518μg per 1 package (10 oz) yields (220 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spinach (Cooked)
Red Pepper or Cayenne Spice (Dried)13157μg per 100 gram serving697.3μg per 1 tbsp (5 grams)236.8μg per 1 tsp (2 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Red Pepper or Cayenne Spice (Dried)
Turnip Greens12825μg per 100 gram serving7053.8μg per 1 cup, chopped (55 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Turnip Greens
Garden Cress12500μg per 100 gram serving6250μg per 1 cup (50 grams)125μg per 1 sprig (1 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cress garden raw
Swiss Chard11015μg per 100 gram serving19276.3μg per 1 cup, chopped (175 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cooked Swiss Chard
Collards10898μg per 100 gram serving18526.6μg per 1 cup, chopped (170 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Collards (Cooked)
Mustard Greens10400μg per 100 gram serving14560μg per 1 cup, chopped (140 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Mustard greens cooked boiled drained without salt
Turnip Greens9532μg per 100 gram serving15537.2μg per 1 cup (163 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Turnip Greens

Broccoli Raab (Cooked)1683μg per 100 gram serving1430.6μg per 1 NLEA serving (85 grams)7354.7μg per 1 bunch cooked (437 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Broccoli Raab (Cooked)
Jute Potherb (Molokhiya)1747μg per 100 gram serving1519.9μg per 1 cup (87 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Jute Potherb (Molokhiya)
Spring Onions1137μg per 100 gram serving1137μg per 1 cup, chopped (100 grams)170.6μg per 1 medium (4-1/8" long) (15 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spring Onions or Scallions
Fennel Bulb607μg per 100 gram serving528.1μg per 1 cup, sliced (87 grams)1420.4μg per 1 bulb (234 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Raw Fennel Bulb
Okra390μg per 100 gram serving312μg per 1/2 cup slices (80 grams)331.5μg per 8 pods (3" long) (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cooked Okra
Celery283μg per 100 gram serving285.8μg per 1 cup chopped (101 grams)113.2μg per 1 stalk, medium (7-1/2" - 8" long) (40 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Raw Celery
Sweet Green Peppers341μg per 100 gram serving313.7μg per 1 cup, sliced (92 grams)405.8μg per 1 medium (approx 2-3/4" long, 2-1/2" dia) (119 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sweet Green Peppers (Raw)
Sauerkraut295μg per 100 gram serving418.9μg per 1 cup (142 grams)696.2μg per 1 cup, undrained (236 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Sauerkraut
Japanese Persimmons834μg per 100 gram serving1401.1μg per 1 fruit (2-1/2" dia) (168 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Japanese Persimmons
Red Cabbage (Raw)329μg per 100 gram serving230.3μg per 1 cup, shredded (70 grams)2760.3μg per 1 head, medium (about 5" dia) (839 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Red Cabbage (Raw)
Balsam-Pear (Bitter Gourd)170μg per 100 gram serving158.1μg per 1 cup (1/2" pieces) (93 grams)210.8μg per 1 balsam-pear (124 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Balsam-pear (Bitter Gourd) (Raw)
Carrotst687μg per 100 gram serving535.9μg per 1/2 cup slices (78 grams)316μg per 1 carrot (46 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cooked Carrots
Sweet Yellow Corn906μg per 100 gram serving1349.9μg per 1 cup cut (149 grams)933.2μg per 1 ear medium (6-3/4" to 7-1/2" long) (103 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sweet Yellow Corn
Artichokes (Globe or French)464μg per 100 gram serving751.7μg per 1 artichoke, large (162 grams)593.9μg per 1 artichoke, medium (128 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Artichokes (Globe or French)
Tomatoes123μg per 100 gram serving221.4μg per 1 cup, chopped or sliced (180 grams)151.3μg per 1 medium whole (2-3/5" dia) (123 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Ripe Red Tomatoes

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.