As we age, the chance of experiencing vision impairments greatly increases. In fact, one out of every four people, over the age of 40, deal with a vision problem. Not all vision issues are preventable, but with a healthy diet, you can protect your eyes from further degeneration. The best nutrients to promote healthy vision are; beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and omega-3 fats. The American Optometric Association recently posted delicious recipes that are rich in these eye saving vitamins. Here are two of our favorites!
Whole Wheat Penne with Spinach and Gorgonzola
Contains: lutein, zeaxanthin, folate, and zinc, and 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
- 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), 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, 271 mg sodium.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Bacon and Pistachios over Baby Lettuce or Baby Wild Greens
Contains: lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and omega-3s.
- cooking spray
- 1 1 /2 lb 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
- 2 (4.5 ounce each) bags baby greens, such as Tender Ruby Reds and/or Sweet Tender Greens
- 3 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts
- Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Heat oven to 425°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. 3) 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): 171 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), 4 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 33 mg vitamin C, 1 mg vitamin E, 0.72 mg zinc, 116 mg sodium.