Nearly three-fourths of Americans aged 55 and older start noticing changes in vision between the ages of 40 and 45-years-old. Studies show there is a lot you can do diet-wise to avoid vision loss. Here are some of my favorite recipes that support eye health.
Creamy Green Mashed Potatoes
Rich in vitamin C and lutein/zeaxanthin, helping filter out high-energy blue wavelengths.
2 1 /2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 bunch collard greens, washed, stemmed and cut into 1 /2″ strips (approximately 8 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 /2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 /2 cup fat-free 1 /2 & 1 /2 cream
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
- Place potatoes in large pot of cold water, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, approximately 20 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot.
- Place collards and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer and steam covered for 10 minutes or until cooked through, but still bright green, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat.
- Add remaining ingredients to potatoes, along with collards. Mash or whip to desired consistency. Add more cream if too thick. Makes 8 servings (approximately 2/3 cup each).
Nutritional information (per serving): 176 Calories; 8 % fat (1.6 g total, <1 g saturated), 36 mg omega-3s 81 % carbohydrate (35.6 g), 11 % protein (4.8 g), 4 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 27 mg vitamin C, 1 mg vitamin E, 0.5 mg zinc, 39 mg sodium.
Penne with Greens ‘n Gorgonzola
Plenty of eye-protecting lutein, zeaxanthin, folate, and zinc, with modest amounts of vitamin C.
10 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
Olive oil cooking spray
1 1 /2 cup yellow onion, diced (~ 1 medium onion)
3 large clove garlic, minced
1 /2 cup chicken broth
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped (~2 cups)
1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (or 1 /2 cup low-fat Parmesan cheese or 1/3 cup crumbled feta)
1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions, without salting water.
- While pasta is cooking, spray a large, non-stick frying pan with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, then stir and cook until slightly transparent, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook for another minute. Add broth and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, toss, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add spinach and basil, cook and stir for approximately 2 minutes, or until leaves wilt. Remove from heat and salt/pepper to taste.
- Drain pasta and add to spinach mixture. Thoroughly toss. Serve on a platter and top with gorgonzola and pine nuts. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional information (per serving): 300 Calories; 25% fat (8.3 g total, 2.8 g saturated), 204 mg omega-3s, 57% carbohydrate (43 g), 18% protein (13.5 g), 8 mg cholesterol, 8.6 g fiber, 27 mg vitamin C, 1.33 mg vitamin E, 2.1 mg zinc, 271 mg sodium.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad on a Bed of Baby Spinach
Packed with lutein/zeaxanthin maintaining healthy cells in the eyes, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 /2″ cubes (~ 4 cups)
1 lb beets, peeled and cut into 8 to 12 cubes
salt & pepper to taste
2 slices bacon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1 /2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
8 cups baby spinach
3 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts
- Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spread squash on half a cookie sheet, one layer thick and beets on other half. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked but firm, tossing once. (Do not let squash and beets touch, since beets will color the squash.) Remove from oven and set aside.
- While vegetables are roasting, cook bacon in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove, pat dry, and crumble. Retain 2 teaspoons of the drippings.
- In a small bowl, blend vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, bacon crumbles and bacon drippings. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss onion, lettuce, and dressing until thoroughly coated. Arrange on 6 salad plates, place equal amounts of the roasted squash in the middle and the beets around the edges. Sprinkle with pistachios. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional information (per serving): 175 Calories; 35% fat (6.7 g total, 1.7 g saturated), 124 mg omega-3s, 55 % carbohydrate (23.5 g), 10% protein (4.3 g), 3 mg cholesterol, 7.5 g fiber, 35 mg vitamin C, 1 mg vitamin E, 0.75 mg zinc, 115 mg sodium.
Spicy Grilled Salmon with Ginger
Full of omega-3s that can protect eyes from macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsps. minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chopped canned chipotle peppers
1 pound salmon fille, 1″ thick or six 5-ounce salmon steaks
Fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
- Preheat grill or broiler.
- Stir together in a medium bowl the cilantro, hoisin, ginger, brown sugar, and peppers.
- Sprinkle lemon over salmon, then brush both sides of salmon with hoisin-glaze mixture.
- Grill or broil until opaque in center, basting occasionally with remaining glaze (approximately 6 minutes per side).
- Transfer salmon to a plate of fresh spinach. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional information (per serving): 284 calories, 50% fat (15.9 grams), 760 milligrams omega-3 fats, 3% carbohydrate, 47% protein, 0 fiber.