EYE HEALTHY RECIPE

RATATOUILLE

· a classic dish originating in the south of France ·


INGREDIENTS

4 Zucchini- medium size
2 Yellow squash- medium size
2 medium sized Spanish onion or Vidalia or even red onion works
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 medium can whole peeled tomato (San Marzano)
1 medium can crushed tomato (San Marzano)
6 cloves garlic
2 medium sized eggplant.
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Basil- or Italian Parsley
S&P (Optional)


TECHNIQUE

  1. In a medium sized pot add the oil and chopped onions and cook 3-4 minutes on medium high heat, then add the chopped garlic stir and cook 20 seconds careful not to burn the garlic.
  2. Pour can of tomato in a bowl and crush with your hands, then add to the pot, with the crushed tomato.
  3. Remove the seeds and stem of the peppers and cut in a medium sized dice, add to the pot.
  4. Trim the ends of zucchini and squash and cut length wise and chop in a medium dice, add to the pot.
  5. Add 2 cups of filtered water, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Need to stay close to the ratatouille and stir every 5-8 minutes so as not to burn.
  7. You can either peel the eggplant or leave the skin on, cut in slices length wise and chop medium dice, add to the pot.
  8. Simmer covered for another 30 minutes until the eggplant is cooked thru.
  9. Chop the herbs and add at the end.

TO PLATE THE DISH

Place on a plate or a medium bowl, add some fresh herbs, and even drizzle a little olive oil at the end for added richness.

Ratatouille is a great summer meal, served hot or room temperature, you can even add some olives or a few capers to the plate before you serve it up.  Very versatile dish, great on its own or with pasta, rice, over chicken or fish as well.  The best thing is it is better the second and third day so make sure to make extra, or double the recipe.

Lastly, Ratatouille is extremely healthy and packed with carotenoids to maintain good ocular health.  ENJOY!

Macular Pigment’s Role in Improving Vision in Young and Healthy Patients

Written by John Nolan, PhD

Carotenoids are a group of more than 700 pigments, ubiquitous throughout nature and synthesized de novo mainly by photosynthetic organisms (plants and algae). Three carotenoids in particular — lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ) — make up the macular pigment (MP). Located in a central and prereceptorial location at the macula, the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and blue light-filtering properties of these macular carotenoids make them ideal candidates to not only help protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but also enhance vision for all patients, including those who are young and healthy.

Filtering Blue Light

In terms of negative impact on visual performance, blue light exposure is a problem for everyone. The primary source of blue light comes from the sun, but now artificial sources of blue light include electronic devices such as cell phones and laptop computers, as well as energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs and LED lights. The light absorbance spectrum of MP peaks at 460nm and, therefore, this optical filter has the capacity to absorb/filter high-energy short-wavelength (blue) light before it reaches the photoreceptors (the cells of vision). Importantly, MP filtration occurs at the central retina only, which allows for blue light to reach the peripheral retina, where it impacts positively on sleep cycles, alertness, and mood. There are several reasons why blue light is deleterious for visual performance and experience. First, there are no blue sensitive cones at the centre of the fovea, thus, visible blue light cannot contribute to visual performance and experience at the location of maximum acuity. Second, given that only visible wavelengths of light are incident upon the retina, and because incident blue light is myopically defocused to an extent of 1.2 diopters, blue light actually contributes to chromatic aberration, which causes a blur around the image. Finally, and most importantly, it is only the blue wavelengths of light that are appreciably scattered and contribute to a phenomenon known as veiling luminance. MP is crucial, therefore, if the deleterious effect on visual performance of veiling luminance is to be minimized and vision is to be optimized.

Better Vision For All

Recently, the Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST)2 study, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, demonstrated that supplementation with the macular carotenoids in a MZ:L:Z (mg) ratio of 10:10:2 (i.e., MacuHealth LMZ3) versus placebo results in a statistically significant improvement in vision in subjects with a healthy macula. Furthermore, this formulation is shown to be superior, in terms of both MP augmentation and visual performance, when compared with alternative formulations lacking MZ.3

In other words, and for the first time ever, vision can be improved with simple over-the-counter supplementation, but the formulation must contain all three macular carotneoids. This discovery has particularly important implications for those who rely on their vision for professional reasons, such as athletes, pilots,  and military marksmen, as well as for those who simply want to optimize their vision-related quality of life.

Reference(s):

  1. The Vision Council. 2017 Blue Light/Digital Eye Strain Report. Available https://www.thevisioncouncil.org/sites/default/files/TVC_BlueLight_one-pager_FINAL.pdf. Last accessed Feb. 17, 2017.
  2. Nolan JM, Power R, Stringham J, et al.
  3. Akuffo KO, Nolan JM, Howard AN, et al. Sustained supplementation and monitored response with differing carotenoid formulations in early age-related macular degeneration. Eye (Lond). 2015;29(7):902-912.

NOLAN

Dr. Nolan is the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland. He specializes in the role of eye nutrition for vision and prevention of blindness, and the link between nutrition and brain health and function. He has presented at more than 100 international scientific conferences and has published more than 85 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Add this Eye Healthy Recipe to your Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Puree with Nutmeg & Cinnamon


INGREDIENTS

2 Whole Butternut Squash

1 Can Pumpkin Puree 29 oz.

2 Sweet Potatoes

1 Tsp. Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Cinnamon

1 Tsp All-Spice

1 Tsp each S&P (salt optional)

½ Stick unsalted Butter (optional)

1 Sprig Thyme

TECHNIQUE

  1. Peel the butternut squash, remove seeds and cut into ½ inch cubes- set aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes- set aside.
  3. Open can pumpkin puree, place in a small bowl- set aside.
  4. Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil, add the butternut squash and sweet potato, simmer until fork tender about 30 minutes, strain- set aside.
  5. In the same pot add the cooked butternut squash and sweet potato with the canned pumpkin, add all remaining ingredients (blend together with a potato masher) and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.  Stir continuously as to not scorch the bottom.  Adjust the seasoning.

TO PLATE THE DISH

 Place in small ramekins with a sprig of thyme for garnish, or place in a large casserole dish (family style) and garnish with a sprig of thyme.

Sweet potatoes add good texture to this Thanksgiving side dish and are nutrient rich for your ocular health.  Butternut squash and Pumpkin are packed with powerful antioxidant carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, essential to maintain healthy eyes!

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

EYE HEALTHY RECIPE

BRAISED KALE SALAD

· with Hard Cooked Eggs ·

 


INGREDIENTS

3 Cups Kale
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 Baby Carrots ( can substitute regular carrots)
5 Asparagus spears
2 tablespoons dried cherries ( can substitute dried cranberries or blueberries)
½ cup Red wine
½ cup Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
S&P to taste (salt optional)
2 Hard Cooked Eggs
1 Tablespoon Capers (can substitute 2 of your favorite olives sliced)
1 Clove Garlic
1 small heirloom tomato (can substitute cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes)
1 Bay Leave

TECHNIQUE

  1. Add the wine and balsamic vinegar with bay leave and dried cherries to a small pot on medium high heat reduce to a glaze, discard bay leave, add capers and set aside.
  2. Peel carrots, and asparagus and( blanch) cook in boiling water 4 minutes set aside.
  3. In a small pot add 2 eggs cover with water bring just to the boil and reduce to a simmer, cook 8 minutes and shock in ice water, peel and set aside.
  4. Wash kale well, chop garlic add the oil to a sauté pan and on medium heat sauté the kale and garlic for 3 minutes until wilted, set aside.

TO PLATE THE DISH

  1. Place the cooked kale in center of the plate
  2. Arrange carrot and asparagus and sliced heirloom tomato around the kale
  3. Slice hard cook eggs and place in each corner of the plate.
  4. Spoon cherry balsamic red wine glaze with capers and cherries over kale and around the plate.
  5. Enjoy!

This is an excellent healthy salad packed with carotenoids that are beneficial to your ocular health.  Great lunch entrée or a light dinner.  Try this one out!

Meta-analysis concludes meso-zeaxanthin improves performance of eye health formulations

Meta-analysis concludes meso-zeaxanthin improves performance of eye health formulations

By Hank Schultz, 18-Jul-2016

A new meta-analysis strongly supports the use of meso-zeaxanthin along with lutein and zeaxanthin for use in eye health formulations.

CLICK TO READ THE OFFICIAL PUBLISHED PAPER

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Waterford Scientists Find Way to Boost Good Vision

New research breakthrough published on June 30 offers prospect of further improved vision among those with healthy eyesight

European Research Council-funded Waterford research breakthrough offers prospect of further improved vision among those with healthy eyesight; Major potential implications for motorists, train drivers, pilots and sportspeople

Irish-based research published Thurs, June 30 in the international journal, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), holds out the prospect of even sharper vision for those who already have good eyesight. Whereas most research in this area has focussed on corrective action for those who’ve already suffered vision loss as a result of eye disease, this new study concentrated on those with strong and healthy eyesight, and yet found marked improvements in vision among those who received specific dietary supplements over a year.

The results of this study have important implications for those who rely on their vision for professional reasons, such as high-performance sportspeople (most obviously golfers, hurlers, cricketers, tennis and baseball players), motorists, train drivers, pilots, police and military marksmen and those involved in quality control; the study – entitled CREST (Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials) – was conducted by the Macular Pigment Research Group at Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI). NRCI is based at Carriganore House in Waterford, and is part of the School of Health Sciences at Waterford Institute of Technology.

This study, the first rigidly-designed study of its kind, was funded by the European Research Council and involved 105 volunteers undergoing complex test of vision over a 12-month period. Of the one hundred and five subjects, 53 received daily supplements while 52 received a placebo (the control group). The outcome unequivocally demonstrates that those receiving macular carotenoids – lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin – enjoyed meaningful benefits to their visual function. The improvement recorded was primarily in people’s contrast sensitivity – how much contrast a person needs to see a target (i.e. how faint an object can you see).

Prof John Nolan, Principal Investigator for the CREST study and founder of the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, said: “All of us involved in this research are tremendously excited about the outcome – not only from a scientific perspective but also because of the significant benefits it will have for a wide range of people. Many people may already consider themselves to have ‘good’ eyesight, but now we know that many of these would benefit from appropriate supplementation.

“To take the example of drivers on our busy roads, improvements in contrast sensitivity, such as we have seen in our study population, would allow for earlier and more accurate detection of moving and non-moving objects in our field of view, and will therefore improve driving safety.

“Sportspeople – especially those in fast ballgames – also stand to benefit greatly, and we were delighted to have Noel Connors, the Waterford senior hurler and All-Star undergo testing at our vision research centre.”

Prof Stephen Beatty added that there are also significant quality of life implications emanating from the research findings – “There has been an understandable focus in research to date on aiding those with failing eyesight as a result of disease. What this latest work demonstrates is that people who are free of eye disease (especially if they are lacking the nutrient in the eye) will experience improved vision as a result of appropriate supplementation.

“Clearly this will enhance one’s quality of life in everyday activities, such as enjoying a pleasant view, but these improvements in contrast sensitivity will also make it easier to read printed text, thereby easing eye strain and fatigue in the workplace and at home. In short, these findings have important implications for those seeking maximum visual performance, whether for work or leisure.”

The publication was prepared by the Waterford-based research team of Prof Nolan; Prof Beatty; Rebecca Power; Jessica Dennison; Jim Stack; David Kelly; Rachel Moran; Kwadwo O Akuffo and Laura Corcoran and were joined by Prof Jim Stringham from the Nutritional Neuroscience Laboratory, Dept of Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Georgia, U.S.A.

Media contact: Elaine Larkin, +353877438838; Photography: Patrick Browne, +353870549290.

Click Here To Read The Official CREST Paper

EYE HEALTHY RECIPE

TILAPIA

· with Rainbow Swiss Chard and Red Pepper Sauce ·

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INGREDIENTS

2 tilapia filet
1 bunch rainbow swiss chard
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper
1 beet
1 bay leaf
extra virgin olive oil
S&P to taste (optional)
italian parsley — flat leaf parsley

TECHNIQUE

  1. Red Pepper Sauce:
    Chop 1 red bell pepper- medium sized dice
    Peel 1 small red beet, chop small dice
    Water to cover the pepper and beets
    1 Bay leaf
  2. Place all ingredients in a small pot cover with water and bring to a boil then simmer until the vegetables are soft. (About 15-20 minutes)Then remove bay leaf and puree with a hand stick blender or a blender.  If it is too thick thin it out with a little water to get a nice sauce texture, add a tablespoon of olive oil for richness and shine. (optional)
    Set aside in a warm place.
  3. Rainbow Swiss Chard:
    Trim the bottoms of the chard, chop 1 clove of garlic, place in a medium sized sauté pan- cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer gently (7-8 minutes)
    Strain set aside in a warm place on the stove. ( Drizzle a little olive oil on the leaves- optional)
  4. Tilapia:
    Season both sides of the fish with S&P or your favorite dry spice blend
    In a large sauté pan heat the pan on medium high heat, add the olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan then add your Tilapia filets.
    Make sure pan is hot before adding filets so the Tilapia does not stick.
    Cook a couple of minutes on each side until nice and golden brown.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.

TO PLATE THE DISH

Place the steamed rainbow swiss chard and garlic in the center of your plate. Add the Tilapia filets in a cross pattern on top of the swiss chard. Spoon the red pepper sauce around the plate. Garnish with Italian Parsley and Enjoy!

This is an excellent dish.  It’s healthy, quick and packed with lutein and zeaxanthin!  Lutein and zeaxanthin are 2 of 3 essential carotenoids proven to enrich macular pigment, enhance vision, and help preserve vision.

To learn about the verification of the third essential carotenoid meso-zeaxanthin found in fish check out the following scientific article!