Feasts for Your Eyes: 9 Dinner Ideas for Healthy Vision
We’ve got nine delicious dinner inspirations that are packed with the nutrients your eyes need most (think beta carotein, omega-3s, lutein, and more). But in case you need a short cut, follow this advice: “Include at least four servings of vegetables every night, along with a healthy protein such as fish, turkey, or chicken,” advises Lisa Hark, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of ophthalmic sciences at Columbia University in New York. Ready to dig in? Let’s eat!
Healthier Fish and Chips
Broil or bake a salmon filet. Slice a sweet potato into rounds, drizzle with olive oil, and roast them. Serve these up with a warm salad of wilted greens (kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens), tossed with minced garlic, cannellini beans, and sautéed mushrooms. You’ll get plenty of vision-boosting beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, and selenium.
Classic Roast Turkey
Start with a bowl of miso soup with dried seaweed and small cubes of tofu. For the main course, have a roasted turkey breast along with roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. You’ll load up on beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin, selenium, zinc, and copper. Have a square of dark chocolate for dessert, and you’ll get an extra copper boost, too.
Make a big salad with a mix of fresh spinach and kale as a base; then, add slices of tomato and avocado, roasted red and yellow peppers, white beans, sunflower seeds, and a balsamic-vinaigrette dressing. Have a bowl of strawberries and blueberries for dessert and call it a night, knowing you’ll have treated your eyes, and the rest of you, to lots of lutein and zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, vitamin C and E, copper, and selenium.
Breakfast for Dinner
Have a cup of carrot soup sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, followed by an omelet with whole eggs, diced red peppers, spinach, and mushrooms, and a piece of whole-grain toast. You’ll get a hefty dose of beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, zinc, and selenium. Starting to notice a pattern? Aim for a variety of rainbow-colored produce and healthy proteins.
Using large wheat or corn tortillas, make your fajitas with chunks of roasted chicken, sautéed green and red peppers, chopped scallions, black beans, guacamole, and salsa. Make it easy on yourself and pickup a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. You’ll save time and treat yourself to a healthy amount of beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and zinc.
Start with a base of fresh spinach then add chunks of roasted butternut squash, roasted peppers and zucchini, walnuts, dried cranberries, and the dressing of your choice. Have a slice of whole-grain bread on the side. (This is also perfect as a side if you need something heartier for your main meal.) You’ll have checked the nutritional boxes for beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Get out your wok or large frying pan and make a stir-fry, using grapeseed oil, diced onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, and shrimp. Add in your favorite sauce, and serve over brown rice or quinoa, for a healthy meal with lots of beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium.
Linguine With Clam Sauce, White Beans, and Arugula
For a satisfying one-dish meal, make a pot of linguine, add prepared clam sauce and minced garlic then stir in a cup of cannellini beans and two handfuls of chopped arugula. For a side dish, steam some broccoli. Every mouthful will provide you with beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, zinc, and selenium.
Not-Your-Mother’s Meatloaf and Potatoes
Instead of using ground beef, opt for ground turkey, diced carrots, onion, and celery, breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings. When it’s almost ready to come out of the oven, sauté fresh spinach with shiitake mushrooms and minced garlic in grapeseed oil, and microwave a sweet potato (or just bake with the loaf). Enjoy the three dishes together—and you’ll get a healthy serving of beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, selenium, and zinc.
Hungry for more? Check out the book Eat Right for Your Sight by Jennifer Trainer Thompson and Johanna Seddon, M.D., a project of the American Macular Degeneration Foundation.