Fall is upon us, and with it comes a delicious assortment of fall fruits
and vegetables. If you’ve overdone it this summer on melons, avocados,
bell peppers or any of the other summer produce, but still want to eat
healthy, the changing of seasons is a great time to change up the fresh
fruits and veggies in your diet.
Many of the fruits, vegetables and nuts that are in season during the fall
are also good for your eyes! What you eat can help keep your eyes healthy,
prevent vision loss and may help prevent some
eye conditions such as night vision problems, macular degeneration, dry eyes and eye
What nutrients do fall foods have in them that are good for my eyes?
There are several nutrients that are essential for good eye health. The
“must-haves” for healthy eyes are:
Vitamin A --help prevent night vision problems, dry eyes, eye infections, cataracts
and macular degeneration.
Carotenoids --help protect the retina from damage by the sun’s rays, help prevent
macular degeneration. (Lutein and zeaxathin are two carotenoids that are
particularly good for your eyes.)
Vitamin C --an antioxidant that helps reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Vitamin E -- another antioxidant that can also help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
Zinc --an antioxidant that helps the body absorb vitamin A. It has also been shown
to protect against macular degeneration and night blindness.
Which fall foods contain these nutrients?
Winter squash --Pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes.
These are just a few examples of the vast variety of winter squash now
available at your nearest fresh fruit market. Winter squash is a rich
source of vitamin A.
Citrus fruits --Some of the citrus fruits in season now include oranges and mandarins.
All varieties of citrus fruits are high in vitamin C.
Grapefruit --Although it’s also a citrus fruit, grapefruit is worthy of mentioning
on its own. In addition to vitamin C, grapefruit is also a rich source
of vitamin A. Pink and red grapefruit contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two
of the most important carotenoids for healthy eyes.
Pumpkin seeds --Eating pumpkin seeds that are still in the shell will help you get a good
dose of zinc in your diet. Shelling the seeds can remove the thin layer
between the seed and the shell that is contains the most zinc. Pumpkin
seeds are also a good source of varying forms of vitamin E.
Roasting pumpkin seeds is a simple way to enjoy pumpkin this fall. Here's how:
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil for every 1 ½ cups of seeds
- Seasoning of your choice. A few suggestions include: garlic powder, Cajun
seasoning, Cayenne pepper, seasoning salt, salt.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Wash seeds and remove any chunks of pumpkin strings and pulp. Leave the
- Toss seeds in a bowl with melted butter and seasonings of your choice.
- Spread a single layer of seeds on a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until seeds are golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Do you have a healthy fall recipe that you like to make? Let us know in
the comments how you keep your eyes and body healthy with seasonal produce!