Sight is one of the most important senses I have. It allows me to see the faces of people I care about as well as good looking strangers, experience the beauty of new cities I visit, spot architectural details of both modern and ancient buildings, and of course appreciate the vibrancy of the food I make and photograph.
I remember the first time I put on glasses and how things came more into a focus instantaneously. I could see individual leaves, not just trees. I could read signs that before were rather blurry. I've been wearing glasses for more than half of my life and would be lost without them.
Some people, however, unfortunately lose their vision as a result of Macular Degeneration.
Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 55 in the Western world. Despite the number of people and families this disease impacts, there is still an overwhelming lack of awareness on how to slow the progression and live with AMD.
I first heard of AMD a few weeks ago when I received a preview copy of Eat Right For Your Sight Cookbook. I was asked to share a bit of information about this awful disease on my blog because eating certain foods rich in beta carotene, lutein, Omega-3 and Vitamins A/C/D/E and zinc can help you see all the people that you love longer.
Here's a great table from the book that shows examples of the foods that are good for your sight. Luckily, I love many of them already: tomatoes, salmon, oranges, peppers, grapefruit, sunflower seeds and dried apricots.
Turns out that Georgia O'Keeffe suffered from Macular Degeneration and experienced one of the most common signs of it: seeing an area of darkness in the middle of her vision.
That sounds terrifying!
Now that I've probably scared you, let's get to what you can do. This book, as well as The American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) is a great resource for learning more about this disease.
Eat Right For Your Sight is a collection of recipes for Small Bites, Soups, Salads, Main Courses, Side Dishes, Desserts, and Healthy Drinks that will satisfy your desire for delicious food that will at the same time benefit the health of your eyes. The cookbook has highly known contributors including Lidia Bastianich, Ina Garten, and Jacques Pepin! It also includes a helpful list of ingredients to have in your pantry and metric conversion charts.
I decided to combine some of the ingredients from the Celery, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad with Toasted Quinoa Salad to make Toasted Quinoa, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad.
Toasted Quinoa, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad
2 cups of cooked quinoa (I used tricolor quinoa because it's pretty and cooked it in salted water for about 20 minutes. BEFORE cooking the quinoa, make sure to toast it in a dry skillet until the seeds start to pop and the aroma hits your nose.)
1 grapefruit, segmented (make sure to save the grapefruit juice)
1 avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1. Drizzle quinoa with a bit of olive oil and some of the grapefruit juice. Add in a thin layer to two plates.
2. Arrange grapefruit segments and avocado slices on top of the quinoa. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and grapefruit juice, sprinkle with flaky salt and parsley.
Doesn't this look pretty? This salad is not only delicious, but is quite filling and it's good for you!!!
You can eat it as is or serve it topped with roasted shrimp or poached salmon. Your eyes will thank you!
Disclosure: I received a free preview copy of the cookbook but am not compensated for writing this post. All opinions are my own.