Enjoy Autumn’s Vitamin Rich Foods for Optimal Eye Health

At Alpfoods for eye healthine Vision Center, we are enjoying the fall harvest and all of the antioxidants and other nutrients found in the delicious foods this time of year that are known for improving eye health. Research suggests that eating a diet rich certain vitamins and minerals may slow or prevent certain eye conditions.  Vitamins known for vision health include Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E.

Vitamins For Vision

eye_healthVitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant.  Our eye doctors remind us that taking vitamin C long-term has been proven to help lower the risk of developing cataracts and can slow the process of age-related macular degeneration.  This powerful vitamin helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen, found in the cornea of the eye. Vitamin C also promotes healthy blood vessels like the delicate capillaries in the retina of the eye.  

This season, consider increasing your consumption of vitamin C by increasing your intake of apples, pears, cranberries, sweet potatoes and cauliflower.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision because it helps protect the surface of the eye (cornea) and helps us to see in low light.  This powerful vitamin also helps the surface of the eye, mucous membranes, and skin act as effective barriers to bacteria and viruses. These strong barriers help reduce the risk of eye infections, and other infectious diseases.

food for healthy vision

There are two types of Vitamin A.  The first type, retinoids, come from animal products. The second type, beta-carotene, is found in plants. Vitamin A from colorful fruits and vegetables are in the form of carotenoids that the body converts to retinol after the food is ingested.  To increase your provitamin A carotenoids in your diet, our eye doctors suggest eating more carrots, and sweet potatoes as well as leafy greens such as spinach and kale.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant known to protect the eye cells from damage caused by free radicals.  Free radicals are unstable molecules that break down healthy tissue. Research suggests that vitamin E may help reduce the worsening of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)  for people showing early signs of the eye disease. Plant-based foods rich in vitamin E including olive oil, avocados, broccoli, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and kiwi are all healthy choices to add to your fall diet.

Autumn Recipes for Optimal Eye Health

At Alpine Vision Center, our optometrists and talented team of eye care professionals double as excellent cooks.  We hope you enjoy a few of our team’s favorite Autumn Recipes for Optimal Eye Health.

diet_for_eye-healthkids_eye_health

Alpine Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Ingredients: 

1 Frozen Banana

3/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1/2 Cup Almond Milk

1/2 Cup Ice (or as desired)

1/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1/2 Teaspoon Chia Seeds

1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions:
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

Butternut Squash Apple Bake

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Butter, Melted

1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Mace

2 Pounds (About one Butternut Squash) Butternut Squash–peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 Large Apples–Cored and Cut into 1/2 inch Slices.

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, butter, flour, salt and mace.  Arrange squash in an ungreased 9×13 inch baking dish.  Next, top with slices of apple, then sprinkle with the sugar mixture.  Cover with a lid or aluminum foil.
  3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until squash is tender.

Prep: 20 min. / Cook:  1 hour/ Ready in: 1 hour 20 min.

Grilled Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients: 

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

1 Lime, Juiced

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 Sweet Potatoes, Peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices

Directions:
  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  2. Whisk olive oil, garlic, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl; add sweet potatoes and stir until thoroughly coated.
  3. Place coated sweet potatoes on the preheated grill; cook, flipping sweet potatoes every 5 minutes, until crisp around the edges and tender in the middle, 15 to 20 minutes.

**Instead of grilling, you can also bake these in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes.

Prep: 10 min. / Cook: 15 min. / Ready in 25 min.