If you’ve been reading our blog, you might already know that there a handful of nutrients that have been linked to improved eye health. Though we often recommend supplements to many of our patients with certain eye conditions, the body absorbs nutrients better when they come in directly from food.
Omega-3 Lentil Loaf
Doctors of several different specialties are recommending that their patients increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and ophthalmology is no different. Not only have these healthy fats been linked with cardiovascular and skin benefits, but they can also improve eyelid inflammation and dry eyes. See our blog post on this topic here.
This Lentil Loaf makes a delicious, healthy and filling main dish. Not only is it low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in protein, it also boasts 1240 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per serving. Enjoy it with roasted mixed vegetables and half of a baked sweet potato to make it a complete meal, full of eye-healthy nutrients.
½ white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained (no need to press)
2 stalks celery, chopped
¼ chopped walnuts, ground in a food processor
1 ½ cups cooked lentils
1 ¼ cups quick oats
3 tablespoons soy sauce (low-sodium soy sauce is best)
2 tablespoons ketchup (plus more for topping)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons freeze-dried poultry seasoning (or you may substitute a mixture of equal parts thyme, rosemary and sage)
-Preheat your oven to 350° and spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
-Sauté garlic, celery and onions over high heat in a few tablespoons of water or low-sodium broth until tender, then remove from heat and let cool.
-Mash tofu in a large bowl. Stir in all ingredients and mix well.
-Empty mixture into loaf pan and top with ketchup to taste.
-Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean.
Nutrition Facts per 1/6-loaf serving (with regular-sodium soy sauce):
Calories: 226 Fat: 8.2 g (1.1 g Saturated) Cholesterol: 0 mg
Protein: 13.8 g Total Carbohydrate: 27.4 g Dietary Fiber: 6.8 g
Sodium: 524.1 mg Omega-3: 1240 mg
Antioxidant Kale Salad
We often recommend that our patients with macular degeneration take special “eye vitamins,” supplements with high doses of vitamins A, C, E and Zinc. For some patients though, these supplements may be contraindicated, or simply too large to swallow. For those patients, we often recommend a varied diet that includes leafy greens and carrots –and this recipe has both!
This cool, refreshing salad is a great source of vitamins A and C, providing your entire daily intake recommendation of each in just one serving. Many people are not used to eating raw kale, but massaging it with lemon juice, avocado and just a hint of salt will tenderize these healthy greens.
4 cups of kale, (about 1 bunch), stems removed, and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium avocado, mashed slightly
juice of ½ lemon
½ – 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, (to taste)
½ red onion, chopped
A small pinch of salt, to taste
1 navel or caracara orange or 3 clementines, chopped into bite-sized chunks
-Place the chopped kale in a large bowl and add the salt, lemon juice and avocado.
-Massage the avocado, salt and lemon juice into the kale, making sure that the kale is uniformly covered with those three ingredients.
-Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss.
-If needed, letting this sit, covered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes will help it tenderize more.
Nutrition per serving (1/6 recipe):
Calories: 91 Fat: 4.8 g (0.7 g Saturated) Cholesterol: 0 mg
Protein: 2.7 g Total Carbohydrate :11.9 g Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g
Sodium: 80 mg Vitamin A: 273.4% DV* Vitamin C: 113.4% DV*
*Percent daily values are based on those of a 2,000-calorie diet.