Simple Recipes That Can Delay Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a dangerous disease that affects more than 10 million Americans and is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans aged 65 and older. While there is no cure for AMD, researchers have found that eating foods rich in certain antioxidants and vitamins can reduce your risk of developing advanced AMD by 25 percent. These include:

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin (found in spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli and asparagus)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (found in leafy greens, nuts, fish, vegetable oils and flaxseed)
  • Beta carotene (found in deep orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like cantaloupe, mangoes, apricots, peaches, sweet potatoes and carrots)
  • Vitamin C (found in oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, green peppers and tomatoes)
  • Vitamin E (found in vegetable oils, almonds, pecans, wheat germ and sunflower seeds)
  • Zinc (found in beef, pork, lamb, oysters, eggs, shellfish, milk, peanuts, whole grains and wheat germ)

Luckily, there are plenty of great recipes containing these foods. EyeCare America has a list of eye healthy recipes here and here, but below are three of our favorites:


Breakfast: Tropical Island Parfait

Serves 2

3 tablespoons nonfat granola

1½ cups nonfat vanilla yogurt

½ cup chopped cantaloupe

½ cup chopped strawberries

½ cup peeled and chopped kiwi

Take a parfait glass or goblet and alternate layers of granola, yogurt and fruit, beginning and ending with granola.

Nutritional information per serving (yields 2 servings): 148 calories, 1.0g fat, 0.1g saturated fat, 5.6g protein, 31.9g carbohydrates, 84.1mg sodium


Lunch: Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Serves 4

2 cups one-inch-cubed carrots

3 cups peeled, one-inch-cubed sweet potatoes

4 cups skim milk

1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate

1 tablespoon orange zest

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Put sweet potatoes and carrots in a medium pot. Add water until the potatoes are covered and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, then drain and cool. Fill a blender about 1/2 full with the potato-carrot mixture and add in the zest, orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Pour in about half of the milk and orange juice and puree until smooth. Empty blender into a bowl and repeat with remaining potato-carrot mixture, milk and orange juice. If it gets too thick, add more liquid. Mix the batches together and serve.

Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings): 296 calories, 0.8g fat, 0.2g saturated fat, 11.1g protein, 66.3g carbohydrates, 746mg sodium


Dinner: Caesar Pasta Primavera

Serves 6

12-ounce package regular or whole wheat bow-tie pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1½-inch pieces

1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium-sized yellow or red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 medium plum tomatoes, cut into thin wedges

3 garlic cloves, minced

14½-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1.2-ounce package dry Caesar dressing mix

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt, and drain. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté asparagus, snow peas, carrots and bell pepper for two minutes. Add in tomatoes and garlic. Combine the broth and dressing mix in a small bowl, then pour over the vegetable mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll want the vegetables to be crisp-tender. Combine the pasta and vegetable mixture in a large bowl and top with cheese if you’re using.

Nutritional information per serving (yields 6 servings): 290 calories, 5.7g fat, 0.6g saturated fat, 8.8g protein, 52.0g carbohydrates, 38.8mg sodium



Photo credit: femmefraiche

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