Thanksgiving is just around the corner! And this probably means that your kitchen is now (or soon will be!) stocked with all the traditional things that make Thanksgiving dinner so special. From turkey and sweet potatoes to collard greens and pumpkin pie, we’ll soon be enjoying all the delicious foods that this holiday is so well known for!

And did you also know that many Thanksgiving dishes are as good for your eyes as they are for your tastebuds?

Here’s a brief list of some eye-healthy Thanksgiving menu items!

Turkey

No Thanksgiving is complete without a delicious turkey in the center of the table. And, thankfully, this holiday classic is full of eye-healthy nutrients! First off, it’s packed with zinc, which offers a ton of different benefits for our vision. Not only can zinc significantly reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and its associated vision loss, but it can also help prevent the formation of cataracts — the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. Turkey is also considered a good source of vitamin B3 (which may play a role in the prevention of glaucoma) and vitamin B6 (which helps reduce your risk of developing AMD).

Sweet Potatoes

This savory dish is a favorite of children and adults alike (especially when you add a little brown sugar and toasted marshmallows to the recipe!). However, beyond just being downright delicious, these hearty potatoes are packed full of nutrients, including vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C and vitamins B5 and B6.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for good optical health and helps to stop the process of AMD, as well as other age-related problems in the cornea and retina. Vitamin C also aids in the process of this, while also helping to reduce your risk of developing cataracts. And both potassium and B5 do wonders for dry eye, with potassium being one of the most important components that comprise your tear film and vitamin B5 helping to reduce the pain and inflammation in dry eyes.

Collard Greens

Collard greens is a great source of lutein and antioxidants. Lutein (part of the carotenoid family, which is a group of beneficial compounds synthesized by plants) can be found in the macula and retina anatomy of your eye, where it helps filter potentially harmful blue light, thus protecting your eyes from damage. And antioxidants help protect your eye cells from damage by free radicals, which are harmful and unstable molecules.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin is one of the best sources of vitamin E, making pumpkin pie one of the best eye-healthy desserts around. Just one cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A!

Enjoying these classic, mouthwatering Thanksgiving dishes will not only satisfy your tastebuds and fill your appetite — it will also help you maintain healthy eyes and clear vision for many Thanksgivings to come. So go ahead and grab that second helping! Your eyes will certainly thank you for it! 😊

And don’t forget that one of the absolute best ways to boost your eye health is to have regular comprehensive eye exams!

Contact us today to schedule your eye exam and make sure that your vision stays in great shape this holiday season and all year-round!

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