Eye-Healthy Holiday Ingredients

Eye-Healthy Holiday Ingredients

The holidays can be a tough time to eat healthy. However, with small modifications to classic recipes, you can make nearly any dish healthier and loaded with eye-healthy foods.

Here are some recipe ideas that contain just a few of the best foods for your eye health!

Carrots

Carrots almost always come to mind when we think of foods that benefit the eyes. Beta-carotene, which is a metabolic precursor to vitamin A, helps the retina and other eye parts to function properly. Lucky for us, carrots are also incredibly versatile and can be prepared in a number of different ways. For a popular side, lightly roast some carrots with honey for a sweet but savoury side dish. Carrot soups are also perfect for a warm appetizer on a cold day. Click here for my curried carrot soup recipe.

Citrus and Berries

Vitamin C reduces the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration, and berries and citrus fruits have this vitamin in abundance. Luckily, cranberries are an easy berry to incorporate into any holiday dinner via cranberry sauce. Click here for a simple recipe for a naturally sweetened cranberry sauce.

Almonds

Almonds are full of vitamin E, a nutrient that has been shown to slow macular degeneration. An easy way to incorporate this healthy nut into a holiday spread is through a pie crust. Crush the almonds, mix with a little softened butter or oil and lightly bake like a normal pie crust before adding a filling.

Fatty Fish

Ditch the turkey, ham and other meat dishes and try a fatty fish like salmon instead. Salmon and other fish like mackerel, trout, and anchovies are rich in DHA, which is a fatty acid already found in your retina. Additionally, low levels of DHA can cause dry eye syndrome, a condition that is so prevalent due in part to our dry Calgary climate.  Bonus – these fish also need minimal preparation to taste amazing. Simply sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and a little kosher salt, and bake in the oven skin side down at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.

And just like that, you have a great dinner to serve your family and friends: curried carrot soup to start, followed by baked salmon on a bed of leafy greens and a side of cranberry sauce, and an almond-crusted apple pie for dessert. Delicious!

Happy Holidays Friends!

Dr. Danielle
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