Linked to in What foods do land hermit crabs eat?
Zeaxanthin is an important precursor to astaxanthin, the carotenoid crustaceans need most to regulate their body systems. If astaxanthin is hard to come by, then zeaxanthin is the substance that coenobita need most. Beta carotene, while a valuable carotenoid, is not used as efficiently by crabs and is not of as much dietary use as zeaxanthin is.
The following lists are of zeaxanthin-containing foods. There are three lists, one each for foods containing high, moderate, and low or trace amounts of this important substance. They are partial and will be updated as new information comes in. Feed from these lists several times a week — daily access to zeaxanthin is recommended.
Bell pepper, orange
Goji Berries *
Lettuce, cos or romaine
Bell pepper, green or red
Green leaf lettuce
Persimmon, Japanese (raw)
Low or Trace Levels
Star fruit (carambola)
Source: Written by Julia Crab Saturday, 19 November 2005 for The Crab Street Journal
Updated to include Goji berries, Kiwifruit, Mango and Passionfruit. Kiwifruit tops the list of fruits that contain lutein and zeaxanthin.