Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course, food. But did you know that many of the classic dishes on your table are also good for your eyes?
Here are seven eye-healthy classics you can enjoy at the Thanksgiving table:
Turkey contains protein and zinc, which are essential for overall health and important for maintaining good vision. To make turkey even more eye-healthy, try baking it or roasting it instead of frying it. You can also avoid the skin, which is high in saturated fat.
2. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, which is essential for good vision, especially night vision. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help protect the eyes from damage. For an even healthier eye-friendly version, try roasting them with a little olive oil and rosemary.
3. Cranberry sauce
Cranberries are brimming with vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect eyes from damage. They also contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are plant pigments with antioxidant properties. They are the only carotenoids that accumulate in the macula, the central part of the retina that is responsible for sharp central vision. Try making your cranberry sauce with fresh berries and less sugar.
4. Green beans
Green beans provide lots of vision-friendly vitamin C and lutein and are low in calories and fat. Steam or roast them instead of adding in cream and butter to keep the fat in check.
5. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are another good source of vitamin C and lutein, zeaxanthin and other carotenoids beneficial for eye health. Roasting them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar will help retain these nutrients.
There’s more vitamin C and lutein to be had in corn. Grill, roast or boil fresh corn on the cob instead of canned corn—and keep the butter to a minimum.
7. Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin pie is an eye-healthy powerhouse with beta-carotene, plus lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Use whole-wheat flour in the crust and reduce the amount of sugar in the filling for a healthier dessert that is just as tasty.
In addition to eating eye-healthy foods, there are other things you can do to protect your eyes during the Thanksgiving holiday:
Limit processed foods and sugary drinks. These are often high in unhealthy fats and added sugar, which increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions. These diseases can damage your eyes and cause vision loss.
Drink plenty of water. Water is essential for good overall health, including eye health. Staying hydrated can help to prevent dry eyes and other eye problems. Aim for eight glasses of water per day.
Get sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your eyes can become tired and dry. Strive for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Take screen breaks. Staring at your electronic devices too long can cause eye strain and fatigue. To prevent these problems, take breaks every 20 minutes by looking at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
By following these tips, you can enjoy a Thanksgiving feast that is both delicious and good for your eyes. And if you’re wearing glasses or contacts, make a LASIK consultation appointment with Dr. Khambati over the holidays! SoftTouch LASIK and the SMILE procedure are 2 of the advanced vision correction procedures we offer here at Lake Lazer Eye Center, where we’re here to help you see your best and make amazing memories this holiday season.
Lake Lazer Eye Center is the Detroit LASIK center that offers up-front pricing, and convenient and affordable payment plans for SoftTouch LASIK and the SMILE procedure. Dr. Khambati has helped thousands of people from all over the world escape the restrictions of glasses and contacts. In the event that you’re not a candidate for vision correction, we’ll assist you with a contact lens evaluation or a selection of designer and specialty eyewear.