Do you ever eat for your eyes? As a foodie, I say that we eat with our eyes all the time. But, do you ever make a conscious effort to consume foods that are good for your vision and eye health? Maintaining good eyesight and eye health is very important because we only have one set of eyes and they cannot be replaced! Especially as we get older, we need to safeguard ourselves against cataracts, macular degeneration, and loss of vision (all of which I talked about in a recent blog post about protecting your eyes from the sun).
If you’ve been following my blog and Instagram account, you’ll have seen that I’ve been back in the kitchen a lot more lately. I’ve been sharing healthy recipes (like my Asian chicken lettuce wraps) and concentrating on meal prep, as a way to control my diet. Nourishing our eyes is just as important as nourishing our bodies, as a whole. So, as an IRIS ambassador, for this recipe post, I wanted to share a dish that is not only yummy but is also great for your eyes!
What Are the Best Foods for Your Eyes?
Okay, so we all know carrots are good for your eyes. But, did you know there are loads of other foods that are too? You’re probably already eating lots of them, without realizing they’re beneficial to your vision and eye health! When it comes to healthy vision, you’ll want to stock up on foods that have nutrients, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, like:
- omega-3 fatty acids
- lutein and zeaxanthin (plant proteins)
- vitamins A, C and E
- carotenoids (plant pigments said to decrease the risk of eye disease)
To get these nutrients, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins into your diet regularly, you’ll want to eat:
- Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collards that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin
- Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Eggs (high in vitamin A and lutein)
- Avocados (high in lutein)
- Nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E
- Beef, which is a good source of zinc
- Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices (high in vitamin C)
- Carrots, bell peppers, and other colourful fruits and veggies, like tomatoes, strawberries, pumpkin, corn and cantaloupe (high in carotenoid, and vitamin A and C)
You want to stay away from highly-processed foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol. These can cause plaque buildup on the macular vessels and slow down the blood flow in the eyes. If you can, switch refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole-wheat breads and pasta because a diet containing foods with a low glycemic index can help reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration. That’s a lot of food for thought!
So, for today’s recipe, I’ve made a power-packed dish that is great for your eyes: a salmon poke bowl with edamame, avocado, and brown rice. I’ve used salmon for this recipe because it contains the 2 types of omega-3 fatty acids needed for your eyes (DHA and EPA). You could also use tuna, which has the same omega-3 fatty acids. Combined with the edamame, avocado and brown rice (which are all eye superfoods), if you eat this, you’re well on your way to better eye health! Here is the recipe.
Salmon Poke Bowl
- 12 oz sushi-grade salmon I picked up organic Atlantic salmon
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 avocado sliced or cubed
- 1/2 cup frozen edamame
- 1 handful fresh cilantro chopped coarsely
- 1-2 stalks scallions cut on the bias
- 4 tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. sriracha sauce
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- black and white sesame seeds toasted until white seeds are golden brown
- 3 tbsp. fresh ginger sliced
- 3 tbsp. wakame or seaweed salad you can buy pre-made at any Asian grocery store
- For the salmon, you must ensure it is sushi-grade salmon. It's best to buy directly from a fishmonger or at the market. To prepare the salmon, cut skin off and dice into 3/4-inch cubes. I recommend asking the fishmonger to remove the skin and cut the fish into cubes for you.
- To marinate the salmon, mix 4 tbsp. mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. sriracha sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl with a whisk until well incorporated. Place salmon in a plastic bag or bowl and pour marinade over top. Mix the salmon in the marinade to coat evenly. You can let sit in the fridge for anywhere between 30 minutes and overnight.
- Cook the brown rice according to package instructions. When finished cooking, uncover and let cool.
- Prepare the avocado by cutting in half, removing the pit, removing the flesh, and then cutting into slices or cubes. Prepare the scallions by chopping on a bias. Chop the cilantro coarsely. Place ingredients aside.
- Boil edamame and place aside to cool, when finished cooking.
- When you're ready to assemble your poke bowls, place 1/3 of the brown rice into each bowl. Top with 1/3 of salmon. Add wakame, avocado, edamame, and fresh ginger on the sides. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds. Add fresh cilantro to the top, as desired.
- If you want to add more spicy mayo to the top of your poke bowls, mix 2 parts mayonnaise with 1 part sriracha sauce, and top, as desired. Serve and enjoy!
*This post was done in partnership with IRIS, but as always, all opinions are 100% my own.