Nutrients for your vision health are abundant in vegetables and the Thanksgiving meal invites lots of vegetable side dishes. Here’s a few that might already be on your menu or will be easy to add to it!
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, and this vitamin protects the surface of your eyes. Sweet potatoes have vitamin C and vitamin E too. Vitamin C, evidence suggests, lowers the risk of cataracts. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation, protects cells in the eyes from damage and can fight against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Keep away from the high sugar toppings like marshmallow and brown sugar, those are not eye-friendly.
Look around for the greens on the table because you know those are great choices. Brussels sprouts are in season – a good reason for them to show up on the Thanksgiving table. Like other leafy green vegetables, brussels sprouts are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C supports vision health in many ways like slowing the progression of AMD and supporting blood vessels in the eye. Broccoli, green beans and spinach are an excellent source of vitamin A. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with the green veggies – so good for your overall health.
Snacks while you wait
While you’re all waiting for the turkey to cook, put out some snacks like raw carrots and celery. Carrots have vitamin A and other nutrients like lutein and beta-carotene, both known to promote eye health. Celery is a good source of vitamins A and C.
Butternut squash is another vegetable in season and is filled with nutrients, like powerful vitamin A. One cup of cooked butternut squash has over 300% of the recommended daily allowance. On the long list of its nutrients is vitamin C, another vitamin for vision health we’ve been discussing.
While some of these vegetables might get covered up in some unhealthy choices like gravy and butter, consider having different versions available. For example, try baked sweet potatoes instead of mashed with butter and cream and steamed green beans with sliced almonds instead of in a casserole.