Feast Your Eyes on Better Health This Thanksgiving

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 20-Nov-2013

What you eat can help or hurt your health, including your eyes. As you prepare for your Thanksgiving Day feast, why not plan on incorporating some foods that are good for your eye health?

Vitamins and minerals found in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can help keep your eyes healthy. These nutrients also prevent vision loss and may help prevent some eye conditions such as night vision problems, macular degeneration, dry eyes and eye infections. Essential nutrients for good eye health that you should try to work into your holiday feast include: vitamins A, C and E; zinc; and carotenoids. These nutrients can help prevent eye infection, dry eyes, damage to the retina, cataracts, and night blindness.

Fall is the perfect time for eye-healthy foods, as the growing season for these cold-weather goodies sits perfectly between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pumpkin seeds, winter squash and citrus fruits are all in-season foods that you can find fresh at your local farmer's market. Squash of all varieties, including pumpkin, butternut, acorn, spaghetti and sweet potatoes are a popular Thanksgiving Day menu item. Need some recipe inspiration that will also benefit your health? For a healthy twist on the traditional pumpkin pie, try this recipe for Harvest Pie by Jackie Mills,.

Harvest Pie


1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded (about 2 1/4 pounds)

Cooking spray

1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup egg substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce) 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces 3 tablespoons chopped pecans 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury) 10 tablespoons fat-free whipped topping (optional)

Preparation 1. Position oven rack to lowest setting. Preheat oven to 400°. 2. Place squash, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Cool slightly, and peel. Mash pulp to measure 2 1/2 cups. Combine the pulp and milk in a food processor; process until smooth. Add granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through cloves); process until smooth. 3. Increase oven temperature to 425° 4. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl; cut in butter using two knives or a pastry blender. Add pecans; toss to combine. 5. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Pour squash mixture into prepared crust. Place pie plate on bottom rack; bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Remove pie from oven. 6. Reduce oven temperature to 350°

Thanksgiving may not be the healthiest holiday, but you can incorporate a big dose of nutrients into your feast with these delicious fall foods. Add exercise to the mix by getting out to enjoy the crisp fall air with a game of flag football or dodgeball!

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