When you hear about vision loss, you may not think about it ever affecting you- even if you wear glasses or contacts, you still might not consider the potential age-related, eye-health concerns that can affect you later on down the road. But, if you have a family member over age 60, you’ve definitely heard them talk about improving their eyesight and preventing macular degeneration… My advice, it’s time to start thinking about it now- if you’re a super food eating twenty, thirty or forty-something though- you’re on the right track.
Lucky for the authors of The American Macular Degeneration Project’s new book, Eat Right For Your Sight, their new collection of eye-health promoting recipes couldn’t be more timely. Now, more than ever, longevity medicine has advanced to the spotlight it has deserved for years. Authors Jennifer Trainer Thompson and Dr. Joanna M. Seddon teamed up with an eclectic array of intuitive health foodies and longevity medicine advocates like big-timers Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Ina Garten, Dr. Andrew Weil and Alice Waters to back their message- eat right for you sight, starting now!
There are two forms of macular degeneration- dry and wet. While dry is more common and gradually progressive, experts agree that wet can be rapid and severe. Many patients come to see me wanting to prevent the health concerns their parents currently deal with- macular degeneration making the list of popular concerns. They’re eager to learn about the nutrients vital to optimizing eye health. Thompson and Seddon offer a crash course in the essential nutrients necessary to achieve this goal in their introduction. Key nutrients include:
- Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants naturally found in the eye and that need regular replenishment. Carotenoids from kale, yellow peppers and carrots help meet this requirement.
- Polyphenols from flavonoids such as broccoli, limes, lemons, onions and blueberries.
- Vitamin A found in liver, fish oils, dairy and egg yolks.
I appreciate that the authors went on to mention that selenium, D3, C, E and zinc are also necessary to realistically prevent macular degeneration. Before you dive into the book, if you’re new to antioxidant classifications, brush up to see where you can make more healthy additions in your diet.
The book is divided into sections that took the time to consider the way all people eat- not everyone consumes your typical 3 meals a day routine- Eat Right For Your Sight includes small plates, side dishes and healthy drinks in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are endless combinations of snacks and meals and, they kept in mind to provide seasonal variety. As Chip Goehring of the American Macular Degeneration Foundation board says in the foreward, “it’s not all carrots and spinach”!… Although I did decide to make the carrot and cumin soup recipe!
Because it’s full of super foods and the recipes get right to the point in large, easy-to-read type, this book IS ideal for your mothers, fathers and grandparents. If your parent is enjoying senior life in a community setting where meals are made-to-order, consider introducing this book to their chef. It’s a great book for you too of course- this recipe collection helps you avoid making the same old thing every day!
I whipped up the Carrot-Cumin Soup in no time yesterday. The recipe was very easy to follow. The only thing I would add is that this would make an exceptional summer gazpacho by adding stewed tomatoes and cucumbers to keep cool!
This recipe was reprinted with permission from The Experiment, New York
What You’ll Need
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lbs large carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 1/2 cups veggie broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds for garnish
Putting It All Together
1. In a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over med-high heat and sauté the onion for 2 mins, then add garlic and sauté an additional minute.
2. Add carrots, broth, cumin, coriander, salt and peper.
3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 15 mins.
4. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or working in batches, purée in a blender or food processor until smooth, then return to saucepan (I used my Vitamix).
5. Whisk in lemon juice and yogurt. Season to taste. Garnish.