Eat your way to healthier eyes this Holiday Season!

Veggies that go the distance for your eye and vision health

Healthy vision starts with what’s on your plate this Thanksgiving and the good news is that the foods which are most loaded with eye healthy nutrition such as Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc, Copper and Vitamins A, C, E & K are also fan favorites at any holiday meal. The potential benefits of a healthy diet include prevention of age-related eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, and Dry Eyes.

Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds – while pumpkins are full of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two extremely important antioxidants involved in preventing Age Related Macular Degeneration, pumpkin seeds contain zinc which helps to deliver these nutrients to the eyes.

Sweet Potatoes – loaded with Lutein and vitamins and are also naturally sweet for the picky eater at your dinner table.

Acorn and Butternut Squash – roasted with heart healthy olive oil for an added Omega-3 benefit to reduce Dry Eyes, squash is a great way to fill up on a variety of vitamins to prevent age related changes.

Yellow corn – fresh and popped (hold the butter!) is high in lutein and gut healthy fibers.

Egg yolks -the only non-plant source of Lutein (but remember to eat eggs in moderation, especially if you are watching your cholesterol level!).

Green peas – are loaded with proteins and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help prevent Dry Eyes and are low in carbohydrates and fat. Green peas are great for Diabetics and anyone on a low-carb diet this holiday season.

Kale – one cup of raw kale only has 8 calories and is loaded with Lutein and Vitamin C (which also boosts your immune system!).

Collard greens – are full of eye healthy nutrition but also contains Calcium and Magnesium for your bones. Sautéd with a small amount of olive oil and garlic, collard greens make a perfect healthy side.

Spinach and Arugula – can be eaten raw or cooked and are extremely low in calories. These greens are loaded with iron for your heart and bones and Lutein for your eyes.

Swiss chard – are full of minerals and almost every vitamin that your eyes need, add Swiss Chard to soups for nutrition and a touch of color.

Broccoli Rabe – contains folate which helps control blood pressure; high blood pressure can affect the blood vessels inside the eyes and change your eyesight over time.

Brussel Sprouts – small yet powerful sources of eye healthy vitamins and gut healthy fibers. Roast with olive oil for that Omega-3 punch.

So put down those carrots and add some delicious diversity to your Eye Healthy Diet this holiday season. 

Dr. Julia Simon Dunnavant

About Dr. Julia Simon Dunnavant

Julia Simon Dunnavant is a licensed Optometrist in the State of New York and New Jersey. She received her doctoral degree from the State University of New York College of Optometry and her Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University. ​Dr. Simon Dunnavant is trained in spectacle refractions, standard and complicated contact lens fittings, dry eye evaluations and dilated eye exams as part of the annual eye care routine and, in particular, for the evaluation and management of eye diseases including diabetes, hypertension and glaucoma.
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