Guest Author - Dean Ingalls
Research has demonstrated that eating a variety of foods containing certain nutrients can help an individual maintain healthy vision. Some specific nutrients such as Lutein, Omega-3 fatty acids and Zeaxanthin are all important elements that should be a part of your diet.
Here is a list of foods, which should be in your diet to help maintain healthy vision.
1. Eggs (especially egg yolks) – Eggs contain Vitamin A, which, helps prevent Macular degeneration, improve retina function and slow the development of cataracts. Egg yolks also contain a high level of Lutein, which is found in the retinal nerve of the eye.
2. Raspberries – Most berries contain vitamin C and helpful anti-oxidants that can slow development of cataracts. Berries make great snacks and make wonderful smoothie drinks.
3. Almonds contain Vitamin E and helps with aged related vision issues. Almonds are enjoyed straight from the package or used in a variety of recipes.
4. Broccoli contains Lutein, which helps control Age Related Macular degeneration and cataracts. Broccoli is often eaten raw but is better absorbed by the body if lightly cooked before eating. Lightly, cooking broccoli breaks down the cells of the vegetable making them easier to absorb.
5. Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which, can help lower the risk of Age related Macular degeneration. Salmon is the most common consumed type of fish and a vast number of recipes are available for preparing the fish. Choose your favorite recipe and enjoy.
6. Spinach provides Zeaxanthin, an essential nutrient that prevents eye damage from ultra violet rays from the sun. Spinach although, often eaten raw in a salads should be lightly cooked and then, consume using your favorite recipe for optimum absorption.
7. Yogurt provides the important mineral zinc. Zinc is essential for helping the body absorb nutrients such as vitamin A. Choose your favorite flavor and enjoy.
8. Papaya contains a high concentration of Vitamin C, which protects against the eye disease Age Related Macular Degeneration.
9. Blueberries contain anti-oxidants, which help blood flow to the eyes preventing macular degeneration. Anti-oxidants also strengthen the walls of blood vessels protecting eyes from Diabetic Retinopathy.
10. Brazil Nuts contain Selenium, which protect the lenses of the eyes and the macula of the eye slowing the development of Age Related Macular degeneration.
The American Optometric Association and a registered dietitian, Elizabeth Somer put together some great recipes that provide the essential nutrients for maintaining healthy vision. Below are some examples of the recipes developed by the partnership.
1. Whole Wheat Penne with Spinach and Gorgonzola
2. Smoked Salmon Pizza with Dill and Lemon
3. Creamy Orange-Cherry Oatmeal
4. Grilled Chicken and Mangos on Baby Greens
Here are some examples of side dishes the American Optometric association and Elizabeth Somer developed.
1. Roasted Garlic and Kale Soup
2. Green Mashed Potatoes
3. Rum-flavored Kiwi, Pineapple, Orange Toss with Coconut and Chopped Nuts
**The ingredients and specific cooking directions are posted on the American Optometric Association website.
**If you are interested in learning more about the proper foods to eat for healthy vision a great book to read is, “Eyefood” written by Dr. Laurie Capogna and Dr. Barbara Pelletier.