Summer foods for healthy vision

by MikeMeehan 6/15/2018 11:49 AM

When summer arrives, so do all the wonderful fruits and vegetables in season. For your vision health, and overall health, fruits and vegetables are, of course, the foundation. As your vision benefits provider, we put together some summer food recommendations for your eye health. Watermelons, along with strawberries, have valuable vitamin C. The vitamin C found in these fruits could lower your risk of developing cataracts, scientific evidence suggests, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA).  Tomatoes are another vegetable in abundance at your farmer’s market in the summer. And tomatoes are packed with vitamin C. Raspberries are another summer fruit high in vitamin C. Keep raspberries, with strawberries and watermelon cut up and ready to eat, in the fridge. It will make it easier for you and your family to make the choice of healthy fruits instead of sugary snacks. Peppers. Salads make great light summer fare. Along with the green bell peppers in season, toss in some eye-healthy spinach and carrots to make a nutrient-rich salad. The AOA reported that eating foods with vitamin C along with beta-carotene, vitamin E and other nutrients can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Bell peppers and raspberries provide these nutrients. Lots of beta-carotene choices. Cantaloupe, mangos, apricots and peaches might make you think of summer. Now they can make you think of eye health too. Beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A which is a great nutrient for your eyes. Dark, leafy greens. Lutein and zeaxanthin, beneficial to your eyes, can be found in spinach, kale, collard greens and broccoli, along with peas and avocados, which are all great for a summer salad. Salmon. If you like to grill in the summer, fish, like salmon, is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to your eye health. Looks like we put together a great summer menu–salad, grilled fish and fruit for dessert. Keep up the healthy routineAll the fruits and vegetables available in the summer can make it easier to keep up your healthy living routine. But don’t forget to schedule an eye exam with your vision care provider for you and your family.

The Oral Health Benefits of Pumpkin… A Reason to Join the Pumpkin Craze

by MikeMeehan 10/26/2017 2:59 PM

While it may seem like the pumpkin theme is everywhere right now – pumpkin spice, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin picking – we’ve got some oral health benefits of pumpkin. A new twist on the pumpkin craze! Maybe you already knew there are great health benefits of pumpkin. I didn’t! And I’m even more thrilled to share the benefits pumpkin can have on your teeth and gums, two things near and dear to our hearts here at Delta Dental. So whether you’re a fan of all the pumpkin-ness going around this season, or if you’re just looking for a practical reason to love this orange squash, read on to learn about its abundance of vitamins and minerals. Nutritious pumpkin Adding pumpkin to your menu this season and year-round can have great results on your smile. Pumpkin is filled with mouth-friendly nutrients like iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc. This Halloween season, let’s make pumpkin lead the way for a delicious and healthy choice instead of all the cavity-causing sweets and candy. Here’s what pumpkin’s got: Iron keeps your gums healthy by replenishing the lining of them. Iron is found in pumpkin seeds. Magnesium is also found in pumpkin seeds. It works with calcium to help strengthen bones and teeth. Grab a handful of pumpkin seeds (or 1 oz.) and you’ve got 35 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin A – All you need is 1 cup of pumpkin to get over 200 percent of the vitamin A you need daily. That’s a powerful cup! Vitamin A is a maintainer of healthy gums, keeping the mucous membranes in your mouth healthy. Zinc is another nutrient from pumpkin that keeps your gums healthy by replenishing the lining, especially in the areas next to your teeth. Vitamin C is a nutrient that helps fight infection (like gum disease), and it also can reduce inflammation in your gums. Pumpkins have a ton of this vitamin, just one cup is 20 percent of your daily requirement. Roast up those pumpkin seeds and find some healthy recipes (like a pumpkin smoothie) to indulge in pumpkin this season. What better reason to go pumpkin crazy than taking care of your overall health and the health of your smile.

Why the Truth about Fish Oil Will Have You Tearing Up

by MikeMeehan 10/6/2016 3:02 PM

Usually, when we say something is fishy, we mean there’s more to it than meets the eye. Or that we smell a tuna sandwich nearby. When it comes to fish oil, there may not be more than meets the eye, but it definitely meets the eye. You’ve probably already heard several of the benefits to popping a fish oil tablet once a day:   Heart health, as fish oil promotes a good blood cholesterol profile Bone health, part of which can include improving joint pain Stroke prevention Wrinkle prevention Hair thickening   Now, you can add eye health to that list. Fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): omega-3 fatty acids that produce better tears. And tears play an important role in our eye health. Go Ahead, Cry Usually, when we think of tears, we think of emotional tears — the kind caused by pain, grief or watching Brian’s Song. But tears play an even broader role for our vision. Tears keep our eyes wet and nourished. When we blink, tears cover our cornea, ensuring our cornea is always wet and nourished. Tears flush out unwanted substances. During family vacation this summer, did you end up with suntan lotion in your eyes? It probably resulted in you tearing up. Or have you ever touched your eyes after handling a jalapeño? Definitely resulted in tears. Some people, however, don’t have the luxury of readily available tears. These people suffer from dry eye syndrome. Dry Eye Syndrome: The Nemesis of Tears Dry eye syndrome is a common condition in which a person either doesn’t produce enough tears or produces tears that evaporate too quickly. Not only can this be uncomfortable, it can lead to irritation, infection or — worse — future vision problems. Dry eye syndrome is often a result of growing older — it affects about 70 percent of older people — but other culprits could include allergies, or chronic pink eye from tobacco smoke exposure. Although fish oil may not be a cure-all for dry eye syndrome — other treatments like artificial tears may be required — it can certainly facilitate recovery. How much fish oil you take depends on your condition. Generally, 500 mg to 1,000 mg a day is sufficient, though the dosage may be upped depending on dry eye severity. Many grocery stores offer supplements with 1,200-mg to 1,350-mg softgel tablets, so getting the recommended dosage probably won’t be too difficult to find. Celebrate See-food Month This October, to celebrate seafood month, go ahead and give fish oil a try. If you want the benefits of fish oil, but don’t want to take a softgel tablet, you can grill it in your diet. At least three times a week, schedule grilled salmon, tuna, halibut or cod. If none of those options sound good, you have tons of fish to choose from. It just might leave you crying tears of joy.

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