Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eating Your Way to Healthy Eyes

I was delighted when I received an offer to publish a guest post from a person in the business of helping people improve their vision.  I hope you enjoy and use the information she has been willing share. Here is what Maggie Thistleton had to say.
Healthy eyes enjoying the view!

We’re told all the time that we should eat healthy: it’s good for maintaining a healthy weight, it’s good for the heart, and it’s also good for overall well-being. But what many don’t realize is that eating well can protect your vision. Several foods are rich in vitamins in minerals that have been medically proven to promote good eyesight.

Vitamin A
Foods that are rich in Vitamin A have a number of health benefits. Vitamin A acts as an immune system booster, while at the same time helps with eye function. Vitamin A also aids in protecting the surface of the eye against eye infections by reinforcing the membrane layer of the outer eye. Beta carotene, the compound that makes carrots orange, is converted to Vitamin A automatically by your body.

Foods rich in Vitamin A:
  • Cantaloupe
  • Squash
  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
Lutein is similar to Vitamin A in that it is an antioxidant that is vital for good eye health. Diets low in lutein have been directly linked to the increased risk of the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. The best way to get lutein is through diet, and green leafy vegetables are packed with it.
Foods rich in lutein:
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Turnip and collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
Finding tasty recipes for these foods can be tough, but there are several eye-healthy recipes over at the Eye Health Guide. To get you started, here are my favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Taking care of your eyes has never been so delicious!

Oatmeal has always been a favorite of mine. It’s warm, filling, and just good for you. There are several ways to spice it up, and one of my favorites is Blueberry Pie oatmeal. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which are good for eye and overall health.
Blueberry Pie Oatmeal    
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup crushed graham cracker 
Combine oats, water, and milk in a small pot and cook on medium heat until oats are thick and cooked through. When oats are almost cooked, stir in blueberries. Remove from heat and serve, topped with walnuts and graham crackers. 

I’m a carb lover, so I love finding ways to sneak them in. Whole wheat pasta lets me do just that, and I love experimenting with different toppings. This easy pasta recipe leaves me filling full and satisfied, and I get to have my carbs!
Quick and Healthy Pasta
Whole wheat pasta
  • 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small can fire roasted tomatoes
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, sauté spinach and garlic over low-medium heat. Once spinach is warm, add fire roasted tomatoes and simmer. Drain pasta and set aside.
To serve, lay down a later of pasta, a layer of the spinach mixture, a layer of sauce, then top with Parmesan cheese. 
Nothing makes me feel satisfied like a filling, but healthy, dinner. Asian food is one of my favorites, and this Shrimp and Scallion Stir-Fry does not disappoint! If you don’t like to eat sea food, easily substitute grilled chicken for shrimp for an equally healthy meal.
Shrimp and Scallion Stir Fry
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches scallions, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  •  2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
In a large skillet or wok, add vegetable oil and set to high heat. Add shrimp, and cook until pink. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and scallions and cook for one minute, then add lemon juice and 2 tbsp water and let simmer for one minute. Season if desired and serve over rice.
There are more healthy recipes here, which include things from breakfast to dinner, even snacks and vegan recipes. With all the work of collecting recipes already done for you, there’s no excuse not to start cooking healthy!

Author Bio:
Maggie is a writer for Reading Glasses Shopper where she helps her customers find the best reading glasses. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and shopping.

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