According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the food you eat can make a huge impact on the clarity of your vision. Being able see well goes hand in hand with quality of life. Here are a few nutrients and easy recipes that can help improve your eye health.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Kale, spinach, chard and other dark greens have a high quantity of lutein and zeaxanthin. Studies have shown that individuals who eat more foods with lutein and zeaxanthin reduce their risk of getting eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.
This recipe for Garlic Kale Soup comes recommended by the AOA and will increase your intake of essential eye nutrients lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and zinc. This is also a quick easy meal that can serve the whole family, or up to 8 people.
Garlic Kale Soup
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1 /2 cup onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried sage)
- 8 cups kale, washed, drained, and chopped
- 1 1 /2 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base or 1 to 2 chicken bouillon cubes (optional)
- 2 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 425°F.
- Wrap garlic head in foil and bake for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from foil, cool, and remove cloves from papery shell. Set cloves aside.
- Cook macaroni according to directions on package until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large, non-stick kettle, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sage and cook until onion is transparent, stirring occasionally, approximately 5 minutes. Add kale and continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, stock, and chicken base. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sweet potato is soft, but still firm, approximately 15 minutes.
- Add macaroni and beans to soup, adjust seasonings, and heat through for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Strawberries, Citrus and Peppers
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, can slow the progression of age-related disease like macular degeneration and visual acuity loss. Many fruits, like strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, guava and more, contain high amounts of Vitamin C. Peppers, like bell peppers, jalapenos and chili peppers are also a great source for Vitamin C.
For a refreshing and visually stunning dessert, try this recipe for Citrus Fruit Mint Salad.
Citrus Fruit Mint Salad
Via Baked Bree
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pound strawberries
- 2 oranges
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice
- 1 Tablespoons fresh mint
- Rinse berries under cold water. Drain. Slice strawberries.
- Segment two oranges. Start by removing the top and bottom of the orange. Remove the peel and pith from the orange by cutting it off starting at the top and working your knife down the sides of the orange. I like to go back and clean it up with a paring knife. Cut in between the membranes, and remove the flesh of the orange.
- Add the fruit to a large bowl. Add the zest from half an orange, the lemon, and the lime. In a small bowl, add citrus juices. Whisk in honey and mint. Pour the dressing over the fruit. Pour the dressing over the fruit. Pour the dressing over the fruit. Give a gentle toss. Be careful, or you will crush all of your raspberries. Garnish with more mint.
- For the smoothie – Put the fruit salad, almond milk, and a little extra honey in the blender. Let it run until smooth. Add a Tablespoon or two of coconut oil at the end. Pour into jars. These are headed to my freezer for breakfast tomorrow.
You’ve probably heard that Vitamin E is great for healthy hair and fingernails, but it also has many powerful antioxidants that slow progress of macular degeneration and cataracts. In fact, studies have shown that adults who have a high intake of Vitamin E have a 20% lower risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. As an added boon, Vitamin E is found naturally in many different foods, especially nuts like almonds, pecans and sunflower seeds. Other foods that have large amounts of naturally occurring Vitamin E are vegetable oils, such as safflower and corn oil, avocados and sweet potatoes.
Try this avocado sandwich with a kick for a wonderfully nutritious lunch or light dinner.
Spiced Avocado Sandwich
Via whole living
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon green Tabasco sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup yellow grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large or 2 small radishes, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 whole-wheat pitas (6 inches each), top third cut off
- Halve and pit avocado. With a spoon, scoop out avocado flesh, cut into chunks, and transfer to a medium bowl. Add orange juice, Tabasco sauce, and coriander; season with salt and pepper. Mix gently to combine.
- Add tomatoes, cucumber, and radish. Combine, and divide mixture between 2 pitas. Serve immediately.
You can look forward to more helpful tips, recipes and advice for keeping your eyes healthy right here on our blog. Please share your comments below so we can know what topics you’re interested in and what questions you have about vision care!