Christmas is a time for overindulgence and expanding waistlines, but could your festive feast actually have benefits to your eye health? Many ingredients in a traditional Christmas dinner contain nutrients that can boost your vision. Here at Karen Lockyer Opticians in Clapham, we’re on hand to guide you through the healthy and unhealthy food at Christmas.
So what festive foods for eye health should you be loading your plate with on 25th December?
Turkey – 157 calories, 3g fat, 0g carbs, 30g protein per 100g
The centerpiece of your healthy Christmas dinner in London, turkey is a great source of lean protein, which helps maintain your retinal health and keep your vision sharp. And if you’re interested in getting vitamins for eye health into your diet, this meat is also packed with zinc, which helps to fuel production of melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes and helps boost your vision in the dark.
Carrots – 35 calories, 0g fat, 8g carbs, 1g protein per 100g
There’s some truth in the old wives’ tale – carrots are actually great for your eye health. This seasonal root vegetable contains beta-carotene, vitamin A and antioxidants which combine to halt the development of cataracts and improve macular function. Roast with local honey for a tasty festive treat.
Brussel Sprouts – 36 calories, 0g fat, 7g carbs, 3g protein per 100g
The most divisive vegetable on the healthy Christmas plate, sprouts are a must-have component for getting vitamins for eye health and maximising your vision-boosting festive diet. This super food is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which work together to protect your retinal health. They’re also a good source of fibre, folic acid, vitamins A, C and K, which helps your macular block excessive blue light and reduce potential damage from digital devices. Just remember not to overcook them or they’ll lose some of their beneficial nutrients.
Cranberry Sauce – 117 calories, 0g fat, 32g carbs, 0g protein per 100g
Cranberries contain vitamin A, vitamin C and high levels of antioxidants which promote healthy tissues and protect your cornea. Although sugary store-bought varieties aren’t as healthy as a punnet of the fresh red berries, its still a good way of getting vitamins for eye health.
Smoked Salmon – 117 calories, 4.3g fat, 0g carbs, 18.2g protein per 100g
Topping off a Ritz biscuit with a helping of cream cheese, smoked salmon is one of the best festive foods for eye health, packed with omega-3 and vitamin D. Omega-3 fatty acids help protect against macular degeneration and prevent dry eye syndrome – vital for eye health during the winter months.
Mulled Wine – 227 calories, 29.2g carbs, per glass
What would a festive Christmas dinner in London be without mulled wine? At Karen Lockyer Opticians in Clapham we were excited (albeit a little sceptical) to read that scientists have discovered red wine contains nutrients that may prevent the growth of harmful blood vessels in the retina and stave off macular degeneration. Resveratrol is found in high concentrations in grape skin, potentially making mulled wine good for your eyes! All in moderation…
So you can enjoy your Christmas dinner in London in the knowledge you’re also treating your vision to a feast of festive foods for eye health!
NB: The Naughty List
There’s plenty of healthy and unhealthy food at Christmas, but some ingredients should remain pure indulgences. Our advice at Karen Lockyer Opticians in Clapham would be that processed meats including pigs in blankets and gammon, white-bread-filled stuffing, bread sauce and melba toast and booze-soaked Christmas puddings and brandy butter are delicious but are unlikely to do your eyes a service!
A very merry Christmas from all the team at Karen Lockyer! We hope it’s filled with festive feasts, fun and family! If you do need to get your vision checked before we close for the holidays or you have a question about the best foods for your eye health, contact us online or call our friendly team on 0207 228 0467