Take a closer look at your Thanksgiving plate to see how many health benefits some of your favorite holiday meals contain.
Nov 06, 2017
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, and to indulge in delicious, home-cooked food. After a full belly, guilt arises about the large portions consumed at dinner. This year, you do not have to feel guilty about your Thanksgiving meal, because many of the foods eaten at Thanksgiving dinner have positive health benefits!
Did you know that select nutrients gained through your diet could play a significant role in maintaining good eye health? Consuming foods with the correct nutrients can prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, retinopathies, and other eye related health issues. Some eye-essential nutrients are: fatty acids, zinc, carotenoids, and vitamins A, C and E.
While taking a closer look at a Thanksgiving plate, here are some of the foods with prime eye health nutrients: a salad mixed with leafy greens, nuts and citrus fruit, deviled eggs, black-eyed peas, whole wheat rolls, pastas, or crackers, beef, pumpkin pie, fruit salad, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, and more. Who knew that Thanksgiving could be so good for your eye health?
A salad mixed with leafy greens, nuts, and citrus fruit is stocked full of nutrients that are great for your eye health! Spinach, collard greens, kale, and other leafy greens contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which help fight the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, which may reduce the probability of cataracts and macular degeneration. Nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, and walnuts, have high amounts of vitamin E and fatty acids, which boost eye health.
A common food served on Thanksgiving, deviled eggs, are great for your eyes. Eggs are rich in vitamin A and lutein which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Another iconic Thanksgiving food, black-eyed peas, also provide a great source of zinc and bioflavonoids, which lower the risks of development of macular degeneration and cataracts.
While turkey and ham are delicious, going a non-traditional route for the Thanksgiving meat would be beneficial. Did you know that beef contains zinc which can help reduce the advancing of age-related macular degeneration? Putting aside the traditional Thanksgiving meats and incorporating beef into your family’s meal could be of great benefit to your eyes.
A basket of steaming hot rolls on the Thanksgiving table might not be as bad for your body as you think. Whole grain breads, pastas, and crackers can reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration.
It might sound cliché, but eating your fruits and veggies can benefit your eye health, including traditional sides for your Thanksgiving dinner such as carrots, broccoli, and sweet. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which helps to guard the surface of the eye, and reduces the risk of ocular infections. Broccoli contains antioxidants that absorb UV rays, which helps keep your eyes healthy while you’re out in the sun. Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants that help decrease the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
While looking at the dessert table, many assume a sweet treat is unhealthy; however, many treats can benefit the eyes. One of the most iconic Thanksgiving desserts, pumpkin pie, actually has great health benefits for your eyes. Pumpkins are high in zinc, rich in vitamins, and are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants keep your retina, cornea, and the surface of your eye healthy, as well as helping to see in low light conditions and reducing risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. They also filter out harmful wavelengths of light, which acts like sunscreen for your eyes. Who knew dessert could be so great for you?
This Thanksgiving, as you lay your head on the pillow at night with a full belly, let your guilt from the overindulgence of wonderful food disappear. Many of the Thanksgiving foods that you consume are stocked full of eye-essential nutrients that are fighting to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.