Kitchens are made for bringing families together. Spending more time at home has us cooking and eating all our meals as one. Trying to keep the menu different and interesting for 3 meals a day has everyone looking for recipe ideas online. We all know about making healthy choices for our bodies, but what about our eyes? Eating healthy does not mean food has to be boring or bland.
Fruits & vegetables get their vibrant range of colors from carotenoids which are pigments that act as antioxidants and have significant properties. There are three dietary carotenoids - lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin – that form macular pigment that protects millions of photoreceptor cells of the central retina. Look for a bright range of ingredients that are rich in Vitamin A such as leafy greens, berry and citrus fruits, and yellow-orange vegetables.
Vitamin A is vital for preserving eyesight. It also helps protect the cornea, or the clear front surface of the eye, and is a component of the protein rhodopsin that is found in the eyes which provides the ability to see in low light conditions. Foods high in vitamin A are known to help protect eyes against night blindness, macular degeneration and vision loss. It also helps sooth eye inflammation and decreases chances of developing eye infections by stimulating the immune system.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help protect your eyes against damaging, unstable molecules that are harmful. Including vitamin E into your diet is recommended to help sustain your eye health. Some studies show that vitamin E can help prevent age related cataracts. Look for recipes that include vitamin E rich ingredients such as nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado, olives, apricots, black currents and leafy greens.
Vitamin C is required to make the protein collagen, which provides structure to your eye, especially in the cornea and sclera. Studies suggest that vitamin C can also help reduce your risk of developing cataracts disease. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C include citrus (grapefruit, oranges, lemons) & tropical fruits (guava, papaya, lychee), green chilli peppers, sweet yellow peppers, thyme, parsley, mustard spinach, kale, kiwis, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and strawberries.
Omega 3- fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat containing a high concentration of DHA, a particular type of omega-3 found in the cell membranes of your retina that form your eye. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that are vital to the prevention of diabetic retinopathy. Omega 3’s can also help people with dry eye disease by producing more tears that help reduce the dryness, discomfort and occasional blurriness. Foods with the highest amounts of omega 3-fatty acids include oily fishes (tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, cod liver oil, oysters, herring, sardines, anchovies, and caviar), flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, olive and canola oils to cook with.
They say you first eat with your eyes. A mixture of colors, textures and flavours stimulates your eyes, and then begins to salivate your mouth. So, it is important that we invest in food that aids in keeping our eyes healthy.