Help Protect Your Eyesight with These Healthful Foods

You may have heard that eating carrots is great for your eyesight, but did you know that there are other foods that help eyesight as well? The National Eye Institute conducted a research project that has shown there are several nutrients that help protect eyes, including beta carotene, lutein, vitamin C and vitamin E. With more than 13 million people in the U.S. suffering from macular degeneration, you may want to add these foods to your menus:
Carrots – Carrots are chock-full of beta carotene. By consuming foods rich in beta carotene you can help keep your body healthy. In the body, beta carotene is stored in the liver, and from there the body converts it into vitamin A. And beta carotene may help increase memory and protect your cells from free radical damage.
Broccoli – This versatile vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin E as well as other nutrients. Chop broccoli and add to omelets, steam broccoli florets and then toss with pasta and olive oil, or cook and puree with your favorite seasonings to make a delicious broccoli soup.
Sweet Potatoes – This is another fantastic vegetable chock-full of beta carotene. Instead of traditional mashed potatoes, try mashed sweet potatoes: steam 2 medium-sized peeled and sliced thin sweet potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, ½ teaspoon garam masala, and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Mash sweet potatoes and then season with salt and black pepper. Research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta carotene from sweet potatoes.