Grandma, What Big Eyes You have!

They say that your eyes are the windows into your soul and as you want to feed your soul, then make healthy choices so that those ‘windows’ stay clear and bright.

As in an earlier post I told you about the foods to eat for healthy hair, here’s a list for healthy eyes:

~ Carrots ~

Mom always said that eating carrots was good for your eyes, after all, you never saw a blind rabbit!  Well it turns out that mom was right.  Carrots are loaded the antioxidant beta carotene, which helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.  Carrots can easily be added into anything from salads to soups, and are always a great side veggie with lunch or dinner. You can also dip them in just about anything — salsa, hummus, guacamole, peanut butter and low-cal dressings.

~ Bell peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts ~

Three B’s that provide a blast of vitamin C! Vitamin C is another key antioxidant shown specifically to protect the eyes.

Steam them, roast them, add to soups and omelets or combine all three for a pasta primavera (lightly tossed in olive oil and garlic).

~ Ostrich~

A healthy and delicious lean substitute for any red or white meat, including beef, chicken, turkey, pork or lamb, in any of your favorite recipes. It absorbs your favorite seasonings and is loaded with protein, iron and zinc — one of the key ingredients for maintaining healthy eyes.

Zinc is found in the retina, and helps the functioning of enzymes responsible for eye health. In people with macular degeneration, levels of zinc in the retina can be very low, so eating zinc-rich foods is a logical first step for preventing and treating macular degeneration.

Look for ostrich in specialty stores or online.

~ Turkey ~

Turkey is also rich in zinc, plus the B-vitamin niacin, which specifically protects against cataracts. What’s more, turkey is incredibly versatile and a terrific lean substitute for high-fat beef.

Turkey is great in sandwiches, it’s delicious in a salad, and you can easily use lean ground turkey for burgers, chili and tacos.

~ Sweet potatoes ~

Like carrots, Beta carotene is present in sweet potatoes — thanks to the bright-orange flesh in these wonderfully sweet spuds.

Sweet potatoes are a super side starch with dinner, and if baked with small amounts of oil, make scrumptious homemade fries. You can also prepare mashed sweet potatoes: Bake them, remove skins and mash with a bit of skim milk and reduced-fat margarine spread and season with a dash of salt and ground black pepper.

~ Spinach ~

Spinach provides four eye-protecting ingredients.  It comes with vitamin C, beta carotene and large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin …a matched pair of antioxidants found in high concentrations in the tissue of the macula. Because they absorb 40 to 90 percent of blue light intensity, these nutrients act like sunscreen for your eyes. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can increase the pigment density in the macula — and greater pigment density means better retina protection, and a lower risk of macular degeneration.

Spinach is an obvious side vegetable with dinner. It is also a great base for any kind of salad, and it’s scrumptious sautéed and in an omelet.

~ Wild Salmon and Sardines ~

Omega-3 fats EVEN help your eyes!

Studies have shown that regularly eating foods rich in omega-3 fats can help protect tiny blood vessels buried within the eyes. Wild salmon and sardines are among your best sources — aim for two to three 4-ounce portions each week.

These foods can help with the health of your eyes, but don’t forget to have your eyes checked regularly especially if you wear corrective lenses or if you develop problems with your eyes such as blurred vision or floaters.

Exposure to the sun, even on a cloudy day, can put you at risk of damaging your eyes and being near water or sand puts you at greater risk. You can stay safe by wearing sunglasses – they needn’t be expensive, but should be of good quality. (I wear sunglasses year-round.  It helps with glare and also prevents you from squinting, thus limiting your chances of heavy crows feet!)

20,000 eye accidents a year happen as a direct result of DIY! To protect you against flying objects, wear goggles that conform to European Stand BS EN 166.

Long spells at the computer screen can cause eyestrain and discomfort – regular breaks away from your screen are recommended.  Guess it’s time for a break!…..


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