May 25, 2016 1:00 AM

Author: Moran Eye Center


If you’re staying on top of your eye health, you get a regular dilated eye examwear your shades, and make sure to eat carrots because you heard they’re good for your eyes. All well and good.

But nutrition-wise, it takes more than carrots to contribute to healthy eyes. What you really need is a veritable rainbow of fruits and vegetables, many of which contain carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin—nutrients that concentrate in the macula at the back of the eye, where they protect it from damage from oxygen and light, and can help prevent degeneration in the lens and retina. That’s why Moran specialist and researcher, Paul Bernstein, MD says, “A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for overall eye health, especially colorful vegetables—several servings a day.” 

You may also have heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your eyes. They can help lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration and help with dry eye syndrome because they are rich in docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, which is important for overall eye health and visual function. However, studies have found that omega-3 fatty acid vitamin supplements are not as effective in providing protection as simply eating fatty fish, including salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines. Plant-based sources include nuts, flax and chia seeds, and dark, leafy greens, such as arugula and spinach. 

Here’s a list of basic eye-healthy nutrients and some good food sources of them. 

Drink Your Kale or Swirl it into Mashed Potatoes

Among all the good-for-you greens, kale is still at the top of the list these days, because it’s a super source of lutein, among other powerful nutrients.

Kale & Banana Smoothie

  • 1 large banana (frozen if desired)
  • 3 to 4 lacinto or curly kale leaves
  • ¾ C. vanilla nondairy milk (rice, hemp, or almond)
  • ½ C. mango nectar

Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.

Green Mashed Potatoes

  • 2-1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, stemmed, and cut into ½” strips.
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large pot of cold water, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, approximately 20 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot.

Place kale and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover with water, bring to simmer and steam covered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and drain well.

Add remaining ingredients to potatoes, along with kale/garlic. Mash or whip to desired consistency. Add more cream if too thick. 

vision diet recipe

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