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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Summer Sustenance and Shades

With backyard gardens and farmers’ markets on the horizon of summer 2018, here are some useful tips about nutrition, vegetables, your eyes, and health!

 

Your mom always told you to eat your carrots because they’re good for your eyes, but is it just an old wives’ tale? Can what you eat really make a difference for eye health? What you eat can make a difference. The answer is to eat a variety of colors every day. The different colors of fruits and vegetables have a variety of different minerals and nutrients. Foods that are good for eye health also tend to be good for you in general. They’re high in fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats that your body needs, so pick up lots in your basket at the market this summer.

 

Leafy greens: Besides being high in fiber, folic acid, and iron, dark leafy greens — from today’s ubiquitous spinach, lettuce, and kale to the more rare collards, mustard greens, or Swiss chard — are great for your eyes. They’re high in antioxidants, specifically the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are stored in the macula and, like sunblock, serve to protect the retina from damaging light.

 

Depending on where you live, greens like these are available locally year-round except for the coldest weeks in winter and the hottest ones of summer. Don’t be afraid to try new-to-you power greens varieties like tatsoi, mizuna, dandelion, broccoli rabe, or turnip greens.

 

Orange vegetables and egg yolks: The bright-orange hue of carrots, orange bell peppers, and sweet potatoes is a dead giveaway that you’re looking at an eye-healthy vegetable. Beta-carotene, which gives these foods their orange hue, is a carotenoid that the body breaks down into vitamin A.

 

Eaten in combination with sources of zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, and the micronutrient copper, beta-carotene has been shown to slow the progress of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In the U.S., most chickens are fed supplements of beta-carotene to give their flesh and their egg yolks a more golden hue, and though it’s done for mostly aesthetic reasons, it does mean that eating eggs offers a sort of complete package: healthy fat and protein, plus zinc to help ferry vitamin A to the retina in order to produce melanin, a pigment that protects the eyes from sun damage.

 

Black currants, cherries, dark berries: Dark fruits are superfoods for so many reasons, but for eyes they’re especially good. Anthocyanins, the flavonoids responsible for giving these fruits their deep purple, blue, and red colors, have been shown to protect the retina from oxidative stress, and they may also inhibit lens opacity and reduce diabetic cataracts. The vitamin C in these fruits is also a powerful antioxidant.

 

Though black currants are difficult to find fresh except at rare farmers’ markets, they’re widely available both dried and freeze-dried at specialty grocers and health food stores. Look for a version without added sugar and add these to granola, smoothies, or baked goods. Stock up when organic, chemical-free blackberries and cherries arrive to markets in summertime. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries freeze very well and are great in the winter months to add to yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies.

 

Enjoy the harvest of the summer and wear your sunglasses. Your eyes will thank you!
   

Our mission at Specs Around Town is to give you high-quality eyewear and personal service that accommodates your busy lifestyle. Our niche is an inventory of cutting-edge eyewear styles, the latest in optical technology, one-on-one attention, and always exceeding our customers’ expectations! Visit us at 312 N. Center Street, Bloomington, or call 309-82-SPECS.



 

 

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