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A Christmas feast for your eyes

The surprising festive foods with health benefits

The festive season is here and that means it’s almost time to tuck into all your favourite treats during that highly-anticipated Christmas dinner. While the word ‘healthy’ might not immediately spring to mind when we think of a festive feast, it actually possesses some surprising health benefits for our bodies and eyes. So, as you stuff yourself with turkey and all the trimmings this year, you can rest assured knowing that you are providing your body with plenty of goodness.

Want to know more about the surprising health benefits of your festive feast? Let our Clinical Services Director Stephen Hannan talk you through some Christmas dinner staples and give yourself even more of a reason to indulge in your favourite meal of the year!

Turkey

Turkey is the staple of any Christmas dinner and is a great source of lean protein, which helps the body maintain healthy retinas to keep vision sharp. It is also full of vitamins such as calcium and zinc, which help in the creation of melanin, the pigment that protects your eyes and helps you see in the dark.1

Carrots & Parsnips

Seasonal vegetables such as carrots and parsnips also help preserve eye health. The bright orange vegetable contains beta-carotene, a vitamin which can stop the development of cataracts2. Carrots also contain antioxidants which improve macula function, meaning grandma was right, carrots do in fact help us see in the dark.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are a divisive part of the Christmas dinner and one of the most nutritious vegetables you can put on your plate. Sprouts contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which work together to protect retina health and the eye tissue that enables us to identify light and colour3. Plenty of sprouts and their vitamins and minerals will help the macula block excessive blue light and therefore reduce the potential damage from computers, tablets and screens.

Cranberry Sauce

A Christmas dinner would not be complete without lashings of cranberry sauce. The little red berries contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and a high level of antioxidants which promote healthy connective tissue and collagen, which are two components of the cornea, the front part of our eye which protects the iris and pupil4.

So, while it might come as a surprise to some, your Christmas dinner plate is actually packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that help to maintain good vision. Treat yourself to a healthy serving this year and feel good knowing that it’s not just a feast for your stomach, but also for your eyes!

If you have any concerns about the health of your eyes, then be sure to book in for an eye test at an Optical Express near you. With over 120 clinics across the UK and Ireland to choose from, you are sure to find a location that is convenient to you.

References:

  1. Dr. Ivana Kim, associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School
  2. Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston
  3. British Journal of Ophthalmology, Macular pigment and age related macular degeneration, 1999
  4. Macular Society
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