In case you need an excuse for your pumpkin spice latte addiction, here’s a great one: pumpkin is surprisingly great for your eye health.
That’s right – pumpkins are not only good for carving or baking pies, but they also keep the eyes in tip-top shape.
Pumpkins are a superfood rich in vitamins and minerals linked to eye and overall health. Let’s break it down:
- Vitamin A protects the cornea (the eye’s surface) and improves sight under conditions of low light.
- Vitamin C reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Zinc plays an essential role in delivering vitamin A to the retina, keeping it healthy.
- Lutenin, an antioxidant, reduces the risk of chronic eye diseases.
But wait — before you hightail it to Dunkin Donuts for a pumpkin-flavored treat, it’s important to note that not all pumpkin foods are created equal.
Many of our favorite pumpkin foods — lattes, donuts, pies, muffins, and cakes — are high in sugar. And, in some cases, these treats may not even contain pumpkin (thanks to artificial flavoring).
To get the most health benefits from pumpkins, try these equally delicious alternatives:
- Baked pumpkin seeds (as a snack, on top of salad or oatmeal, or in a smoothie)
- Pumpkin oat cookies
- Pumpkin and cream cheese dip
- Pumpkin soup
While you satisfy your tastebuds with pumpkin this fall, remember that you’re also boosting your vision and eye health. Sounds like a win-win!
Rodrigue and Associates Eyecare is the leading eye care specialty practice in Augusta, Maine. For over 40 years, we have focused on providing our patients with the highest quality optometric and medical eyecare.