Good Eats for Your Eyes: Autumn Edition

Eating “eye healthy” food doesn’t mean having to eat bags of carrots every day. There are some super delicious foods that also happen to be super foods for your eyes! Many of these foods are in season throughout the late summer and fall, so now is the time for recipe ideas that will keep your mouth watering and your peepers bright and healthy. We’ve offered tasty treats for all sorts of different meals! Feeling European? Try the classic French recipe for saumon aux lentilles (salmon with lentils) updated with a delicious dijon mustard sauce. Heading to a Farmer’s Market this weekend? Be sure to pick up some of the first winter squash of the season (as well as all the other ingredients) for Corn with Winter Squash, Spinach and Bacon. As a bonus, most eye healthy foods are also beautiful, colorful foods! We’ve got you covered from main course to dessert, and you can be sure that every morsel is good eats for your eyes and pretty on your plate!

Photo by Romulo Yanes from Epicurious

Photo by Romulo Yanes from Epicurious

1) Saumon aux lentilles. Preventing macular degeneration? Oui Oui! Try this delicious and classic French combination for a double doe of eye disease fighting nutrients like folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin D and lots of Omega-3 fatty acids. Even if you aren’t a lentil lover, try the green lentils in this recipe and be surpised at the creamy texture and rich flavor! Be sure that your salmon is sustainably harvested and your lentils organic, and you’ve got a plate full of cancer fighting, eye healthy food that is also good for the planet!

2) Vegetarians and vegans need healthy eyes too! The Scarborough Tofu Burger is

Photo by Rockport Publishers from Epicurious

Photo by Rockport Publishers for Epicurious

so delicious you not only won’t miss the meat, you won’t have to worry about your eyes! This homeade veggie burger is packed full of herbs, nuts and seeds that will protect your baby blues (or greens or browns…) like Medieval armor! Sunflower seeds are the biggest surprise in these and with tons of selenium, you’ll be enjoying your lunch and preventing cataracts with every bite. Pile on some sliced avocado (which has more lutein than any other fruit, as well as essential fatty acids) and you’ll be battling macular degeneration too. All without an ounce of meat!

3) For the “localvores,” you can find a Farmer’s Market nearly every day of the week in Asheville. This means you should be able to find nearly every ingredient for this colorful, flavorful, eye healthy meal locally (from onions and squash to bacon and basil)! If you like, substitute the spinach in this dish for some fresh kale and you’ve got even more goodness (could it be possible?!)! Corn with Winter Squash, Spinach and Bacon combines some of my favorite seasonal foods as well as tons of vitamin A, vitamin C, selenium, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene! Even if you can’t pronounce every nutrient in this super easy fall dinner, you can be sure that you’ve got a forkful of the nutrients that doctors recommend most for prevention of age related eye diseases, cataracts, and for better night vision!

4) Have a main dish in mind but looking for that perfect, eye catching side to complement it? Look no further than this super tasty take on broccoli. Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Red Pepper combines good looks, good flavor and some of the most eye healthy nutrients (vitamin C, selenium, quercetin, and zeaxanthin) to create one heckuva dish! Easy to make and perfect to accompany all sorts of meats, fish, or just to enjoy in a big bowl or right off the pan! Be careful though, it’s addicting.

Photo by Mark Thomas from Epicurious

Photo by Mark Thomas from Epicurious

5) Finally, no menu is complete without dessert! Now, I know what you’re thinking, and I am not going to suggest a recipe for an “eye healthy fruit cup” or for some granola bar that pretends to be dessert. My friend, dessert is one of the great inventions on this earth, and I enjoy every bite of it (rich, indulgent and in moderation). For a stunning dessert that will keep your eyes as healthy as your spirit, try a Ginger and Pink Grapefruit Cheesecake. This jewel-toned cake is chock full of vitamin A, beta carotene, calcium, zinc, lutein and vitamin D! With ginger, grapefruit and eggs, it has turned super food for the eyes into a treat worthy of your most formal entertaining.

As you can see, fresh seasonal ingredients can be the first line of defense for your eyes. Protection and prevention are the best steps that you can take to avoid eye diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma. To treat your eyes to the best care possible, combine a good diet, sunglasses that protect from UV and HEV light, and yearly eye health exams. If you are diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease, we can be an active part in your treatment and will do all we can to treat and prevent further damage to your eyes. Lastly, one of the best things about eating well for your eyes is that you’re also eating well for your body! The foods and nutrients mentioned above are some of the best for fighting cancer, stroke and heart disease. Here at Envision Eyecare, we recognize that your entire body health effects your eye health. We want you to eat well and treat your body well! If you have questions about your eye health, eating well for eyes, or if there is anything else that we can assist you with, feel free to contact us at 828.254.6757. We’re here for you!

***We’d also love to hear if you try any of these recipes and what you think of them!! All the recipes listed here are from Epicurious. The recipe links will take you to that website.***

–Maria Buchanan works part-time at Envision Eyecare and loves creating healthy, tasty food for herself and her husband.