Beautiful spring weather calls for beautiful meals under the canopy of nature.
They say we eat with our eyes, but looks like we should be eating for our eyes too. Nutrition researchers are gazing into our orbs to illuminate the link between nutrition and eye health. Important diet discoveries go beyond eating carrots to see well in the dark.
Carrots still rank high on the eyesight saving menu but other heroes, perhaps even more important, are emerging from the farm. Scientists have set their sights on green leafy and deep orange or yellow vegetables such as spinach, kale, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, carrots, collard greens and turnip greens.
The Lady of the Refrigerator dressed in a pumpkin. Fashionable and fabulous for eye health. Good looking and good for looking!
Pumpkin and the other foods listed above contain two natural carotenoid plant pigments called lutein and zeaxanthin. They are both potent antioxidants thought to protect the eyes against the damaging light waves that contribute to cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration (AMD).
A study in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that lutein can reduce risk of cataracts by up to forty percent and a study in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that lutein may cut risk of AMD by thirty five percent. Lutein is also found in eggs, especially the yolk. So enjoy the whole egg for a whole lot of health benefits.
Peek a Boo! I see you!
Lutein is important for the development of an infant’s eye sight (attention moms-to-be) and maintaining children’s vision health (eat your vegetables kids!).
Recipe note: since lutein and zeaxanthin are fat-soluble nutrients absorption is increased when consumed with a little oil. So it’s good to know that olive oil drizzled on the season’s fresh vegetables is good for your taste buds and your eyes. Yum! Here’s a delicious example from The Slim Down South Cookbook. The BLT Chicken Salad.
Focus on Foods
Other powerful antioxidant nutrients associated with maintaining overall eye health are zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
Lutein/Zeaxanthin: kale, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, avocado, zucchini, peas, corn, Brussels sprouts, tangerines, dark leafy salad greens and eggs.
Beta-carotene: carrots, mangos, sweet potato, greens, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, kale, and apricots.
Vitamin C: papaya, citrus fruit, strawberries, tomato, mango, green peppers, and berries.
Vitamin E: almonds, wheat germ, whole grain breads, avocado, and greens.
Zinc: oysters, lobster, beef, poultry, pork, lentils, and whole-grain bread.
Source: USDA nutrient database.
Happily, many of the foods rich in nutrients good for our eyes are delicious additions to any meal and are beautiful to look at too.
Here’s the video!!! of Beautiful Ways to Present Beautiful Foods FOR our Eyes.
It’s all about placement on the plate.
Add Color and MORE….
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