The Clearview Blog
Cooking for your eyes
June 6, 2014
When you’re cooking dinner at night, the health of your eyes isn’t usually at the forefront of your mind. However, there are many easy ways to incorporate foods into your meals which are rich in nutrients that strengthen your eyes and help maintain your eye health. We’ve put together a guide to some of the most important nutrients for healthy eyes to help you find new paths to great vision on a daily basis.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are very important nutrients in reducing the risk of chronic eye diseases and age-related eye concerns suchas cataracts and macular degeneration. You can find them in foods like kale, spinach, yellow carrots, eggs, paprika, corn, and saffron. Try adding a salad with a kale and spinach base to your meal to improve your consumption of Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Turn that salad into a modified version of a Cobb salad by using hard-boiled eggs and corn to maximize the nutritional content of your meal.
A nutrient that is already familiar to most people, Vitamin C can be found in citrus such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. Vitamin C has a positive effect on almost all of the cells in your body as they actively depend on it. For eye health, Vitamin C helps improve the blood vessels within the eye. Vitamin C can easily be incorporated into your meals in the form of a fruit salad, but do not be afraid of using orange slices as a delicious complement to your chicken breast or lemon as a zesty garnish while baking your salmon filets to infuse them with flavor.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that you can find in nuts, fortified cereals, leafy greens, avocado, broccoli, pumpkin, and sweet potato. This nutrient can reduce the possibility of age-related macular degeneration and slow the formation of cataracts. To bring more Vitamin E into your meal, try tossing some almonds or pumpkin seeds into a salad. You can also slice and bake some sweet potato fries for a healthy side dish. Sliced avocado always makes a welcome addition to almost any meal.
Essential Fatty Acids
These nutrients can be found in fat molecules and come in the form of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They play a key role in supporting your body’s cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. High levels of fatty acid intake are essential for visual development and help prevent eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and retinopathy of prematurity. Essential fatty acids are commonly found in fish and seafood such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovy, trout, halibut, and scallops. Incorporating one of these as your main dish is a great way to make sure that you are getting a steady supply of fatty acids.
Zinc is a mineral which helps in delivering Vitamin A from your liver to your eye, enabling the production of melanin. Daily consumption of Zinc is crucial in maintaining an eye-positive diet because a Zinc deficiency can result in poor night vision and cloudy cataracts. Foods that have high Zinc content include meats such as oysters, lobster, beef, salmon, and pork. Zinc can also be found in yogurt, bran flakes, milk, and eggs. Have yogurt and eggs for breakfast to start your day with a quick Zinc boost or try an ocean-inspired dinner of lobster and raw oysters for healthy eyes at night.
Do you know any recipes using some of these ingredients? Share your eye health ideas with us!