Spring Foods for Optimum Eye Health

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 23-Apr-2014

SPRINGFOODSsmallWhat you eat plays a key role not only in your overall health, but in the health of your eyes, as well. Eating a healthy, nutritious diet and plenty of fruits and vegetables keeps your eyes healthy, prevents vision loss and may help prevent some eye conditions such as night vision problems, macular degeneration, dry eyes and eye infections.

Must-haves nutrients for healthy eyes

Vitamin AHelps prevent night vision problems, dry eyes, eye infections, cataracts and macular degeneration.

CarotenoidsHelp protect the retina from damage by the sun’s rays and prevent macular degeneration. (Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that are particularly good for your eyes.)

Vitamins C and Eantioxidants that help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Zincan antioxidant that helps the body absorb vitamin A. It has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and night blindness.

Which spring foods contain these nutrients?

SpinachThis is arguably the best spring food for eye health. Rich in zinc, beta-carotene, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, spinach contains the nutrients to protect the eyes against a number of eye conditions, including age-related degeneration.

KiwiNot only are they a sweet, refreshing treat, but kiwi fruits contain vitamins C and E, as well as the carotenoid lutein, which protects against age-related macular degeneration.

AsparagusThis fleshy green vegetable is rich in folate and vitamin K. Asparagus comes with a long list of health benefits, including protecting the eyes from developing cataracts.

EggsThere is no true “season” for eggs, but chickens do tend to lay more eggs during spring, with its longer days and mild temperatures. Eggs are full of lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect against cataracts.

Oily fishWild salmon and sardines are both in season during the spring. These oily fish contain vital omega-3 fats that are good for your overall health and help protect the tiny blood vessels inside the eye.

For a delicious, refreshing spring meal, try this grilled salmon and spinach salad with peach dressing from Jackie Mills, R.D., Coastal Living.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 (6-oz) salmon fillets

2 (5-oz) packages baby spinach

Preparation

Combine sugar, spices, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Rub salmon with brown sugar mixture. Place fillets, skin side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) for 12 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove skin and discard.

Toss spinach with 1/3 cup Peach Dressing (recipe below). Arrange spinach on individual serving plates, top with salmon, and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Peach Dressing

Ingredients

2 peaches, peeled and sliced

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

Preparation

Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.

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