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Thanksgiving Eye HealthThe Thanksgiving holiday is almost here, and many of us are looking forward to a fun day with family and friends — plus a whole lot of food!

When the table is set, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is eye health, but many Thanksgiving staples can promote proper eye function.

Sweet Potato: Beta-carotene is a carotenoid and antioxidant that promotes night vision and overall good eyesight. Sweet potatoes contain hearty amounts of beta-carotenoid, as do carrots, collard greens, spinach and romaine lettuce.

Broccoli and Sweet Peppers: Getting your fill of these tasty foods is a way to pack the Vitamin C into your diet, which can help reduce the risk of cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Spinach, Green Bean Casserole, Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts: These foods and other leafy greens are loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, which may also help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Cranberry Sauce and Cherry Pie: These common Thanksgiving dishes are chock full of bioflavonoids, which may also reduce your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Pumpkin: When you’re sneaking a slice of pumpkin pie after a big meal, don’t feel too bad. According to the National Institutes of Health, a cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, which is great for your vision, especially in low light. Pumpkins also contain beta-carotene, which the body converts into even more Vitamin A.

Turkey: The centerpiece to many traditional Thanksgiving dinners, turkey is chock full of zinc, which is a beneficial mineral that enables vitamin A to produce the pigment melanin, which protects the eyes. Zinc, also found in the retina, has been shown to increase nighttime vision as well.

While you’re enjoying all the tastes of Thanksgiving and all the rich vitamins that come with your favorite dishes, don’t forget that moderation is key to your overall health.

A healthy diet rich in the right nutrients is a great start to keeping your eyes healthy, but our Houston eye doctors want to remind you not to forget the importance of regular eye exams. Contact Berkeley Eye Center today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.