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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Want a healthy heart and good vision? How about the following 15-lutein rich foods?

Lutein, a yellow to orange pigment related to vitamin A, is extremely important for not only maintaining vision, but keeping a healthy heart as well. Perhaps you may easily take your eyesight and beating heart for granted, especially if you currently have good vision and a strong, beating heart. But, what if you don't? What if you wish you could improve your eyesight and even your improve your blood pressure? The following 15 foods can help give your eyes and heart a healthy boost for sure....

1) Kale: This veggie has a ton of nutrients besides lutein. It has a good amount of vitamin C, calcium, beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K and even fiber. Super low in calories too.

2) Winter Squash: When was the last time you roasted a squash in the oven? It is so good and full of great vitamins and minerals...yes, including Lutein and vitamin A too.

3) Collards: These leafy greens are not surprisingly chock full of vitamins and minerals, fiber and so much more! For those of us attempting to lower our LDL (lousy) cholesterol, this is a great addition to the diet. Additionally, these greens are related to kale and cabbage and are quite delicious in a salad, as a side dish or as an added bonus, a smoothie too.

4) Yellow Sweet Corn: What could be a better accompaniment to a summer B-B-Q than corn? Whether it is steamed or grilled, it is delicious and high in lutein, potassium and B vitamins. Even as a snack, popcorn is a great addition too -- although being sure to skip out on the extra butter and salt!

5) Spinach: This leafy green is rich in lutein, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C and K and is extremely high on the ORAC scale. This scale which was developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and a part of the National Institutes of Health -- provides a score that is associated with minimizing oxidative damage to our cells. This reduction in damage in turn, slows the aging process. 

(6) Swiss chard: This low-calorie, highly-rich-in-vitamins and minerals leafy green is a great healthy addition to a weeknight dinner by simply sauteeing it in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. If you are feeling you want to add a little more, a finely chopped bacon strip or carmelized onions adds depth to the dish.

(7) Green peas: Green peas are high in lutein, magnesium, iron, zinc, B-vitamins, vitamin A and potassium. Another simple and delicious side dish to a weeknight meal.

(8) Arugula (rocket) has a good amount of lutein in it as well as a load of vitamins and minerals. It is wonderful in salads, a brief wilting with olive oil and garlic or even on top of a small and filling quesadilla.

(9) Brussels sprouts: While these may or may not be a favorite for some, it is a great weight loss food and they are easy to prepare. Even branching out a bit and roasting them with a little chile oil or simple olive oil and vinegar are good!

(10) Broccoli rabe, also high in lutein and vitamins and minerals and fiber, is delicious oven-roasted with a bit of parmesan cheese or chile flakes for a twist. 

(11) Pumpkin: Pumpkin has a large amount of lutein in it as well as fiber and potassium. Again, another good addition to change up the dinner menu and add some zest!

(12) Egg yolks: While clearly not plant-based, this animal-based food has lutein and protein and when eaten in moderation, can be a nice addition to an already healthy diet. 

(13) Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are well-liked by many, especially with a small amount of a healthy fat like olive oil, salt and pepper. Once again, this food is rich in lutein, vitamin A, potassium, fiber and more.

(14) Carrots are delicious raw or cooked. They are full of lutein, multiple vitamins and minerals and low in calories too.

(15) Asparagus: Last but not least, Asparagus has a good amount of lutein and other nutrients to make it delicious and nutritious.

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