Vistar Insights

This Thanksgiving, Be Thankful for Healthy Vision

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Healthy eating plays a significant role in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This condition has no cure, but current studies show that maintaining a healthy diet including certain foods may reduce your risk of developing AMD and even slow its progression all together. Here are some foods that may help curb this process:

  • Fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C, including oranges, strawberries, papaya, grapefruit, tomatoes, and green peppers.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin E, like safflower and corn oil, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds and wheat germ.
  • Beta-carotene super-foods, such as cantaloupe, apricots, mangoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peaches, and apricots.
  • Filling foods rich in zinc, including beef, lamb, pork, oysters, shellfish, eggs, peanuts, milk, whole grains, and wheat germ.
  • Dark, leafy greens, like kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and collard greens fortify with eye-healthy lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent AMD. They can be found in foods, such as nuts, fish, leafy green vegetables, and vegetable oils (soy, canola, flaxseed).

 

Here is a recipe for an eye-healthy, seasonaldish from geteyesmart.org, a site dedicated to creating a lifestyle that supports eye health and general wellness. It’s delicious and could help you (and your guests) fight against age-related macular degeneration, too. This recipe comes from from Chef Kate McAloon.


Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup Ingredients
2 cups carrots (peeled and cut into 1 in. cubes)
3 cups sweet potatoes or yams (peeled and cut into 1 in. cubes)
4 cups milk
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (or from concentrate)
2 tbsp. frozen orange juice (concentrate)
1 tbsp. orange zest
3 tbsp. brown sugar (or honey)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
pepper to taste

 

Cooking Instructions

  1. Put sweet potatoes and carrots in a medium size soup pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
  3. Fill a blender about half full with the sweet potatoes and carrots. Add some of the milk and orange juice, all the zest, OJ concentrate, brown sugar, salt and pepper. (You will need to blend the soup in 2 to 3 batches using enough milk and orange juice so your blender runs smoothly—if it is too thick, add more liquid). Blend all the ingredients well. You can either reheat or chill the soup. It is great hot or cold.

 

*You can also add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon if you like.
*Yields 4 to 6 servings and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
*For enhanced eye health, serve alongside a spinach salad with almonds, a sprinkle of wheat germ, hard-boiled eggs, bacon and your favorite dressing, preferably made with safflower oil.