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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Feast Your Eyes – Holiday Recipes for Eye Health

November 25th, 2015

Category: News

Tags: , ,

The holidays aren’t a time most people think of as healthful. It’s hard to keep nutrition on your mind when you’re going in for a second helping of Aunt Gertrude’s famous “crushed potatoes.” (Her secret ingredient, by the way, is butter. Lots of it.) But a lot of the food we love this time of year is actually good for your eyes.

Carrots are the go-to when most people think of eye-healthy food, and roasted carrots and parsnips are a perfect fall side. Eye health is a little more complicated than just loading up on a few servings of beta-carotene, though. That’s why we’ve picked these five recipes to help you eat eye-healthy for the holidays.

Savory Pumpkin Soup

Maybe you’ve already roasted way more carrots than your family is willing to eat this fall. Carrots aren’t the only vegetable with beta-carotene that make for good fall seasonal dishes. You might only have had pumpkin in its well-known, sweet form – pie, but it actually has flavors that shine through in savory dishes, too. With the eye-protecting power of beta-carotene, savory pumpkin soup is a sure winner for flavor and eye health.

Ingredients

5 cups pumpkin puree

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

4 ounces dry pasta

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup sour cream, for topping

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup toasted almonds

Directions

In a large saucepan, mix the pumpkin, vegetable broth, heavy cream, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Cook until pasta is tender but firm – about 11 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer.

Stir in pumpkin pie spice, parsley, and cilantro. Slowly stir butter, plain yogurt, and sour cream into the mixture. Do not let them curdle. Stir in the cheese, and serve topped with almonds.

Mustard Vinaigrette with Wheat Germ Oil

Vitamin E plays well with the ever-abundant vitamin C to strengthen healthy tissue. Strong tissue is less likely to fail over time, and healthier eye tissue means less likelihood of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Almonds and sunflower seeds have vitamin E, but for a real boost, replace the oil in a homemade salad dressing with wheat germ oil.

Ingredients

1/4 cup cranberry sauce

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, peeled

salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup wheat germ oil

1 cup vegetable oil

Directions

Place cranberry sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, black pepper, rice vinegar, and cider vinegar into a blender. Process until smooth. Pour in wheat germ oil, then vegetable oil. Blend for about 1 minute for rich, creamy salad dressing.

Tender Beet Greens

Your retinas thrive with only a small amount of zinc. Oysters contain zinc, but that’s not a very seasonal dish. Luckily, turkey has plenty of zinc. Pair your favorite turkey recipe with delicious beet greens for a zinc-packed vitamin punch.

Ingredients

2 bunches beet greens, stems removed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

Directions

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the beet greens, and cook uncovered until tender. Drain in a colander, then immerse in ice water for several minutes (to keep them from overcooking). Once the greens are cold, drain well, and chop.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the greens and evenly distribute oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until greens are hot, but no longer than that.

With the right recipes, your whole family will have satisfied smiles and shining, healthy eyes this holiday season. Nutrition is important to eye care, especially as a person advances in age. The best way to make sure your eyes are getting the care they need is to incorporate eye-healthy eating habits into every meal. To learn more about eye care, find out how Griffin Eye Clinic can help you with your eye care needs, or to schedule an appointment visit www.griffineyeclinic.com or call (770) 228-3836.

Recipes adapted from Allrecipes.com


Don’t Dry Your Tears: 5 Ways to Fight Dry Eye

November 20th, 2015

Category: News

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Have you ever woken up and you can barely open your eyes? It stings so badly that you’d prefer to keep them shut. When you finally peel your eyelids back it feels like you’re in the middle of a sandstorm, and you have to wipe away some invisible film clinging to the surface of your eyes.

This is what it’s like to struggle with dry eye syndrome, or chronic dry eye.

Most people experience dry eyes when air in their environment is artificially dry, or when they slow their blinking. Situations where you might experience dry eye include sitting on a plane under an air vent, focusing on a computer screen for a long time and blinking less often, or working outside on a windy day.

Infrequent dry eye symptoms are normal, but when dry eyes persist it could indicate a chronic condition. Many factors can contribute to chronic dry eye; prescription medication side-effects, overuse of diuretics, and even age are all possible causes of dry eye syndrome. Sometimes the cause of a case of dry eye syndrome can’t be determined, but there are still ways to keep your eyes well-lubricated and pain-free.

  1. Control your environment. This is the simplest way to combat dry eye syndrome, because in many cases you can take steps on your own to make sure your environment is as eye-friendly as possible. Avoid areas with smoke or high winds, and wear wrap-around sunglasses if you will be outside. If your house is dry, use humidifiers in high-traffic areas.
  2. Use artificial tears. There are entire aisles dedicated to artificial tears in drugstores and supermarkets, and with good reason. Artificial tears are a great way to augment your eyes’ own tear production. Of course, all that choice means it might take some searching to find the artificial tears that are just right for your case. Talk to an eye doctor for an educated recommendation.
  3. Learn about prescription options. The causes of dry eye syndrome can often be treated with prescription medication, and your eye doctor will work with you to find out which treatment is best. The variety of prescription options is wide and includes oral medications, medicated eye drops, and more specialized solutions.
  4. Conserve your tears. Tear ducts can be artificially closed to help maximize use of the tears your eyes produce. Sealing tear ducts ensures that tears won’t drain away as quickly. This option requires a quick surgical procedure, and seals can be made either permanent or temporary.
  5. Ask about eye therapies. There are a number of eye therapies available today, ranging from eye massage to thermal pulse therapy. These therapies are often designed with a specific cause of dry eye in mind, though, so you’ll need to consult an ophthalmologist to determine if therapy will be effective.

Chronic dry eye doesn’t have to define your life. All it takes is an ounce of prevention and maybe a little help from your eye doctor to keep your eyes working comfortably. Dry eye is a complex problem, though, so it’s always best to consult a qualified physician like the ones at Griffin Eye Clinic before attempting a treatment on your own.


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