5 Thanksgiving Dishes That Feed Healthy Eyes

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on November 9, 2020

We’ve all done it: We’ve indulged every whim at the Thanksgiving table, only to wonder if it was worth it. Well, it can be! With a few simple tweaks on a traditional meal, you can feed your family, your whims and your eyes.

Here, we offer suggestions for each dinner course, each of which brings some major eye health benefits to the table:

Starter. Your dinner salad is perfectly poised to fight inflammation with its base of antioxidant-rich leafy greens. Toppings like berries, light vinaigrette and fresh-roasted pumpkin seeds provide more antioxidants, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these reduce the risk of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and other eye problems.

Main Dish. Turkey with cranberry sauce is practically required on Thanksgiving Day. Turkey is a lean protein chock full of calcium, zinc and vitamin B. These vitamins and nutrients help keep the eye lubricated and the muscles working. A dollop of bright cranberry sauce provides the vitamin C boost you need for a healthy vascular system in the eye. To lighten up your entrée, choose breast meat.

Cranberry Sauce

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

¼ cup orange juice

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp grated orange peel (optional)

Lightly mash the cranberries to break up at least half of the berries. Simmer the cranberries, juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it thickens to the consistency of loose jam. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla extract and orange peel. Serve warm on turkey, bread, baked brie or any dish where jellies and jams are desired.

Side Dish. Cataract- and macular degeneration-fighting lutein and zeaxanthin are hiding in your beloved green bean casserole. Use a low-fat or low-sodium cream soup to make it even healthier.

Dessert. What would a Thanksgiving meal be without pumpkin pie? That delightful orange shade comes from beta-carotene, which is known to be essential for good eyesight. Just keep your portion small or make a sugar-free version by swapping in artificial sweetener.

Cocktails. Want more beta-carotene and antioxidants? Work them into your after-dinner drinks. Have a tomato-juice-based bloody mary or enjoy fresh apple cider with a splash of apple-flavored whisky. Limit yourself to one or two and savor every sip.

There’s room in every eating plan for tasty indulgences that won’t wreck your diet or your vision. We hope these tips get you off to a great start on a happy, healthy holiday dinner.

Missouri Eye Institute would like to wish our patients a most happy and prosperous Thanksgiving Day! We are thankful for your trust and eager to help you see better than ever into the new year. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 during business hours or learn more about our services at MissouriEye.com.

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