Disclosure: I received a free copy of “Eat Right For Your Sight” mentioned in this post. I was not additionally compensated for my time.
Do you want to hear something that only a Nutritionist would say? I have a favorite vitamin—it’s Vitamin A. I like all the vitamins and I think everyone should eat a well balanced diet, but I just love Vitamin A the most. Maybe it’s because Vitamin A is so prevalent in carrots and sweet potatoes, which are my all time favorite vegetables. These orange veggies are high in something called beta-carotene, which is what gives them their bright orange color. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid that the body can convert to Vitamin A, which is necessary for the development and maintenance of strong healthy eyes. Some may argue that other vitamins do more important things than determine whether or not you need glasses, but there are worse things that can happen to your vision than corrective lenses. Macular Degeneration is an incurable eye disease and the leading cause of vision loss for more than 10 million Americans over the age of 55. Age-related macular degeneration is damage to or breakdown of the central part of the retina, called the macula. The macula allows us to see clearly and degeneration of the macula can result in the complete loss of central vision. Those affected with Macular Degeneration can lose their sight entirely at the age of 55. A diet rich in key nutrients for eye health, like my favorite Vitamin A, may delay the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration.
Eat Right For Your Sight is a cookbook that translates 20 years of research from the American Macular Degeneration Foundation into delicious and practical healthy vision recipes for readers. I was lucky enough to be asked to share a recipe from this cookbook with my readers.
This Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberry Salad is a good source of carotenoids and Vitamin A, and it’s as delicious as it is bright. Whip this up as a Meatless Monday dinner or top with chicken or fish any night of the week.
And check out these resources about macular degeneration and ways to keep your vision healthy:
o American Macular Degeneration Foundation
o Eat Right for Your Sight™
o U.S. National Library of Medicine
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- One 5-ounce bag baby greens
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup pecan halves, lightly chopped
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon freshly snipped chives
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the agave nectar, and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake until tender and golden, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing after 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Assemble the baby greens, cranberries, pecans, and goat cheese in a salad bowl. Top with the butternut squash. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, vinegar, mustard, chives, ¼ teaspoon salt, and extra pepper into a vinaigrette and toss with the salad. Serve immediately.
Serving size: 1 cup
Protein: 4 g
Fiber: 4 g
Fat: 30 g
Saturated fat: 5 g
Sodium: 260 mg
Vitamin A: 10,343 IU
Vitamin C: 6 mg
Vitamin D: 3 IU
Vitamin E: 13 IU
Zinc: 1 mg
Beta-carotene: 3,774 μg
Lutein and zeaxanthin:5,000 μg
Recipe from Eat Right For Your Sight: Simple Tasty Recipes That Help Reduce the Risk of Vision Loss from Macular Degeneration, By Jennifer Trainer Thompson and Johanna M. Seddon, copyright © American Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.