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Open Your Eyes to Healthy Eating Habits
Date:2/26/2009

nutritional value by supplying the provitamin A beta-carotene which is essential for night vision, spinach and other dark, leafy greens prove to be the healthiest foods for eyes because they naturally contain large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin.

The AOA, along with nutritional ingredient manufacturers Kemin and DSM, recommend the following foods which contain the key nutrients for eye health:

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin: Colorful fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, green beans, peas, oranges and tangerines
  • Essential fatty acids: Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, or herring, whole grain foods, chicken and eggs
  • Vitamin C: Fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, green peppers and tomatoes
  • Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, such as safflower or corn oil, almonds, pecans, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds
  • Zinc: Extra-lean red meat, poultry, liver, shellfish, milk, baked beans, and whole grains

"Nutrition is a component of health for the entire body, including the eyes," said Somer, a registered dietician and nutrition research expert. "I suggest incorporating nutritious ingredients into daily menus. There are some great, quick and simple recipes that promote healthy eye sight and vision."

One example of a quick and easy eye-healthy recipe includes:

Whole-Wheat Penne with Spinach and Gorgonzola

    Ingredients:
    10 oz. uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta
    Olive oil cooking spray
    1 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced (approximately 1 medium onion)
    3 large garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    3 Roma tomatoes, chopped (approximately 2 cups)
    1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
    1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  
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SOURCE American Optometric Association
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