Everyone looks forward to seasonal menus for the holidays. We seem to reserve certain dishes especially for our holiday gatherings. Many of these dishes may contain vitamins and minerals that are good for eye health, so which dishes are best for a family get-together, progressive dinner or pitch-in? Here are a few nutrients that are essential for eye health and some suggested dishes that you can make to nourish your vision this holiday season (Source: (Today.com):
We’ve all heard that carrots are good for the eyes. Beta-carotene is converted to retinol that is essential for vision. Not a carrot lover? Other foods are high in beta-carotene as well. Sweet potatoes, kale, cantaloupe, apricots and cherries are also good sources of beta carotene.
Holiday foods that are rich in beta carotene:
- Sweet potato soufflé
- Carrots with brown sugar glaze
- Cherry pie or cherry cobbler
- Shortbread cookies with apricot preserves
- Steamed kale
- Pumpkin pie
Vitamin C is also very good for the eyes because it strengthens ocular blood vessels. There are many foods besides citrus fruits that provide vitamin C in the diet. Bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries and kiwi are wonderful sources of vitamin C. All types of peppers are high in vitamin C. In fact, the chili pepper contains the highest percentage of vitamin C, providing over 400 percent of the RDA.
Try making some of these foods that are rich in vitamin C this holiday:
- Stuffed peppers
- Broccoli casserole
- Sautéed Brussels sprouts with onion, garlic and bacon
- Fresh fruit platter with citrus fruits, strawberry and kiwi
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutien and zeaxanthin are known to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods that provide both of these nutrients include spinach, swiss chard, watercress, corn and persimmons.
Here are some ways to incorporate lutein and zeaxanthin into your holiday:
- Spinach salad with fruit, nuts, feta cheese and a spicy vinaigrette
- Add watercress to some leftover turkey for a sandwich
- Corn is a side dish that pleases almost everyone
- Persimmon muffins or pie