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Kaylor: Take Care of Your Eyes

April 2, 2015
Carolee Kaylor - Nutrition Program Assistant , Pierce County Tribune

Do you look forward to the green grass, red and yellow tulips, and all the other beautiful, blooming colors of spring? In honor of nature's rebirth and the beauty around us, let's consider how to maintain healthy vision. April has two national observances for eye health: Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.

Eat healthfully - Protecting your eyes starts with the food on your plate, especially brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Consider your eyes if you plant a garden, and when you write your grocery list or visit a farmers market this summer.

Green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale), corn, peas, collard greens, orange and yellow bell peppers and egg yolks naturally contain the eye-healthy pigments "zeaxanthin" and "lutein."

Get regular physical activity - Exercise improves blood circulation and increases oxygen levels to the eyes. Enjoy warmer weather by taking a walk in the morning, during a lunch break or in the evening. Gardening is a form of exercise and a way to grow your own food.

Did you know? SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits can be used to purchase seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.

Wear sunglasses - Protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays when outdoors. Be sure your sunglasses have UV-A and UV-B protection to block both forms of ultraviolet rays.

Take breaks from your "screen" - Staring at your computer, TV or phone screen can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, trouble focusing at a distance, dry eyes, headaches, and neck, back and shoulder pain.

Consider these tips:

Every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

At least every two hours, get up and take a 15-minute break to be away from a

screen.

See www.ndsu.edu/boomers for more information about nutrition, exercise and your eyes.

SPINACH SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

8 c. bite-sized pieces fresh spinach

c. julienne* strips of carrots or jicama**

c. sliced fresh radishes

2 to 3 medium fresh oranges, peeled, seeded and cut up or 1 medium mango, diced

(Optional: Add protein, such as hard-cooked chopped egg, leftover grilled chicken or beef, and/or canned white beans)

(Optional: strawberries as garnish)

Prepare as directed and toss.

*"Julienne" refers to food cut into long thin strips like matchsticks.

**Jicama (Mexican yam or Mexican turnip) is a root vegetable found in the produce section of many grocery stores. It looks somewhat like a potato, but it does not brown after cutting.

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. poppy seeds

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. yellow mustard

1/3 c. canola oil

2 Tbsp. finely diced onions

In tightly covered container, shake all dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, toss dressing and remaining ingredients. Garnish with egg and/or strawberries, if desired.

With four eggs and 1 cup strawberries: Makes four servings. Each serving has 360 calories, 25 grams (g) fat, 10 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 320 milligrams (mg) sodium.

With 1 cup strawberries as optional ingredient: Makes four servings. Each serving has 290 calories, 20 g fat, 4 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 250 mg sodium.

From NDSU Extension Service Food Wise Julie Garden-Robinson, Food & Nutrition Specialist

 
 

 

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