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Hy-Vee at Midday: Keeping Eyesight at 20/20

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Hindsight is 20/20... Protect Your Vision Today!

Did you know that as American age, vision is the thing people fear losing the most? Making a few simple dietary adjustments can help protect and maintain your vision. Today, Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee dietitian, Kimberly Proctor, will share some recipes starring two key nutrients that can help maintain the health of your eyes.

Research tells us that there is a link between diet and eye health. Every day, our eyes are exposed to free-radical damage from both sunlight and indoor lighting. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two essential nutrients that act as "internal sunglasses" to help protect and maintain healthy vision. Getting enough lutein and zeaxanthin can also help reduce the time your eyes need to recover from glaring light. This is particularly important for night driving.

The human body does not make lutein or zeaxanthin, so it is important to replenish these nutrients in our daily diets. Research tells us that we need to consume 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin every day to protect our eyes. The best food sources of these nutrients are leafy greens and yellow vegetables. Here are some examples of foods rich in lutein/zeaxanthin:

· Kale

· Spinach

· Collards

· Turnip greens

· Corn

· Green peas

· Broccoli

· Romaine lettuce

· Green beans

· Eggs

· Orange bell peppers

Consuming the above foods with a small amount of fat will increase the absorption of lutein and zeaxanthin. For example, a small amount of oil may be used to sauté kale, or a romaine lettuce salad could be dressed with an olive oil vinaigrette. Try one of these refreshing and nutrient-rich recipes to boost your intake of essential eye health nutrients!

Baby Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Serves 4


1/3 cup Hy-Vee canola oil

¼ cup

3 tablespoons Hy-Vee orange juice

¼ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste


6 cups prewashed baby spinach

1 small yellow or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 ripe, but firm, nectarine, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 tablespoons Raspberry Vinaigrette

1. To prepare vinaigrette: Add oil, vinegar, orange juice, salt and pepper to a jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake well to combine.

2. To prepare salad: Combine spinach, bell pepper and nectarine in a large bowl; toss with 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette.

Per serving: 72 calories; 5 g fat; 6 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 74 mg sodium; 350 mg potassium.

Source: Eating Well

Green Smoothie

Serves 2

All you need:

1 cup kale, leaves only

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks

1 cup pineapple juice

1 frozen ripe banana

1 avocado

1 container Hy-Vee Light vanilla yogurt

All you do:

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process on high speed until smooth.

Per serving: 210 calories; 7.5 g fat; 40 mg sodium; 33 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 21 g sugars; 4 g protein.

Source: Kimberly Proctor, RD LD

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