March is National Nutrition Month and Save Your Vision Month: Celebrate with Smoothies
March is both National Nutrition Month and Save Your Vision Month. We want to encourage you to keep both your nutrition and eye health in mind this month. There are many essential vitamins and nutrients that can be found in your local grocery store that can help prevent the development or reverse the effects of specific eye conditions.
Vitamin C can lower one’s risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (when paired with a healthy diet of other essential nutrients).
- Example foods: Grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, green peppers, tomatoes. 🍊
Vitamin E can protect the eye cells from molecules that break down healthy tissue.
- Example foods: nuts, sweet potatoes, spinach, pumpkin, sunflower seeds. 🥬
Omega 3 Fatty Acids promote retinal function and can provide benefits against chronic conditions like dry eye disease and age-related macular degeneration.
- Example foods: chia seeds, flax seeds, tuna, and salmon. 🐟
Zinc deficiency has been linked to conditions such as poor night vision and cloudy cataracts. Adding the correct amount of zinc to one’s diet could reduce these ailments.
- Example foods: red meat in moderation, shellfish such as oysters, nuts, seeds. 🥩
One simple way to eat healthier and get all the essential nutrients one needs is to make a smoothie. If you have a blender or food processor at home, making smoothies a part of your diet is very easy! Hint: you can even store the prepped ingredients in a mason jar in the fridge or a in a bag in the freezer to make the process faster.
Here are some simple smoothie hacks to help incorporate smoothies into your diet:
- Instead of milk or juice, use Ensure/Boost to guarantee the addition of vital nutrients with no extra effort. They have several added nutrients like zinc sulfate, vitamin A, B vitamins, and protein. Ensure’s website has easy smoothie and shake recipes that you can incorporate Ensure products.
- Try adding a handful or two of spinach to your smoothie. Uncooked spinach added to a smoothie packed with fruit is completely flavorless and almost undetectable. This adds Vitamins E, A, C as well as fiber to your smoothie. Just don’t mind the color!
- Throw some nuts, seeds, flax seeds, or nut butters into your smoothie for extra protein and essential vitamins like omega 3 and vitamin E.
- If you are trying to cut calories from your diet in a healthy way, try adding soy, oat, cashew, or almond milk to a smoothie. Many of these alternatives (if there is no added sugar) can have less calories than milk products and can be a great substitute for dairy intolerant individuals.
*Talk to your doctor if any of these dietary suggestions would be right for you.