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Eye Health

As I am getting older, eye health has of course become one of my top priorities. And when I find tips easy to implement that can benefit my eyesight, I try to execute them as much as possible. Today, I am going to go over what foods are particularly beneficial for your vision.

Foods for Eye Health

Some nutrients are extremely beneficial to eye health. 

  • Vitamins A, C, E, and zinc, all rich antioxidants. Avocados, strawberries, broccoli, red peppers, carrots, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes, for instance, offer quite a bit of these nutrients.
  • Omega 3’s (especially DHA) like in salmon, sardines, and herring, aid in maintaining eye health.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, which can be found in egg yolks, zucchini, brussels sprouts, and green leafy vegetables, for instance, help with boosting eye health.
  • Astaxanthin and bilberry. Astaxanthin (a remarkable antioxidant) is found in abundance in wild-caught sockeye salmon, krill, algae, red trout, lobster, crab, shrimp, crawfish, salmon roe, and red seabream.

On a Final Note

Our food choices have a clear impact on our overall health and eye health. The eyes being an extension of the brain, I also apply myself to consume brain-boosting foods on a daily basis. And supporting our mitochondria (the powerhouses of the cells) may be just as important. Consult your personal physician and see what would work best for you to maintain long-term eye health!

Until next time!

References

Asprey, Team. “Hacking Your Eyes: Improving Vision and Eyesight.” Dave Asprey, 1 Apr. 2021, daveasprey.com/hacking-your-eyes-improving-vision-and-eyesight/. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Seymour, Jacqueline. “Health Coach Tip – Promote Eye Health Naturally.” Frank Lipman MD, 17 Aug. 2022, drfranklipman.com/2022/08/17/health-coach-tip-promote-eye-health-naturally/. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

You can also find me on Instagram.

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Grow your own sprouts to consume more sulforaphane!

Sulforaphane in Cruciferous Vegetables

As outlined in the Primal Blueprint food pyramid, the bulk of any meal should be vegetables – lots of fresh, organic, or farmers’ market vegetables ideally. The non-starchy ones might be the best picks if you have to watch your blood sugar levels closely. And along with leafy greens, cruciferous/Brassica vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts) probably give you “the most nutritional bang for your buck.” 

Cruciferous vegetables are high in a sulfur-based phytochemical compound called sulforaphane or SFN. SFN is created when the cruciferous plant’s enzyme myrosinase and the plant’s compound glucoraphanin combine by chewing, chopping, or cutting the given plant. Because of its substantial bioavailability, SFN is found to have many protective benefits.

Sulforaphane’s Health Benefits

SFN has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-like effects and aids in fighting oxidative stress. Here’s a brief list of sulforaphane’s health benefits:

  • Aids by lowering inflammation and strengthening the immune system
  • Can aid in staving off diabetes
  • Can aid with treating certain cancers
  • Assists liver function and detoxification
  • Enhances synthesis of glutathione (a “Master Antioxidant”)
  • Protects against lung damage
  • Helps with gastrointestinal function
  • May shield the brain from damage, in some instances 

Vegetables Rich in Sulforaphane

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Wasabi
  • Watercress

On a Final Note

As you can see, there are plenty of vegetables to choose from to get a little bit of sulforaphane into your diet every day if you wish. Last winter, as vegetables are definitely more scarce then, I decided to grow my own sprouts for the first time. I got a basic sprouting kit and some seeds, after purchasing The Sprout Book, by Doug Evans. Of course, you don’t have to wait for winter to grow your own sprouts. And no need to have a green thumb for that either. Give it a try!

Until next time!

References

Levy, Jillian. “Sulforaphane Benefits: The Secret to Broccoli’s Superfood Status.” Dr. Axe, 16 July 2022, draxe.com/nutrition/sulforaphane-benefits/. Accessed 31 July 2022.

Lipman, Dr Frank. “Protect Your Heart, Brain and Life with Sulforaphane.” Frank Lipman MD, 5 Apr. 2021, drfranklipman.com/2021/04/05/protect-your-heart-brain-and-life-with-sulforaphane/. Accessed 31 July 2022.

You can also find me on Instagram.

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Is Eating Primal/Paleo Really That Expensive?

When you decide to buy naturally raised animal products and organic produce, it may seem to cost a whole lot more at first. It is important to keep in mind, though, that when you start eating whole foods and better-quality products, you are also doing away with all of the high carbohydrate processed foods and beverages. In his new book, The Pegan Diet, Mark Hyman states, “Some studies show it can cost as little as 50 extra cents a day to improve the quality of your diet.” Cooking at home with nutrient-dense foods in fact costs less than endlessly buying already prepared-for-you meals in a box and/or take-outs. Implementing a few simple strategies and “cooking hacks” can make Primal/Paleo eating affordable and easy.

A Few Simple Strategies

As mentioned in a previous post, you can:

  • Buy in bulk and cook large meals ahead of time.
  • Shop at a food co-op (member-owned “cooperative”).
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm.
  • Shop at farmers’ markets.
  • Look into volunteering at local farms.
  • Grow your own garden (in your backyard or in a community garden).
  • Cowpooling (when you decide to buy with your friends a whole butchered cow at a local farm, each one of you getting a section of it).

Three Basic “Cooking Hacks”

In his book, The Pegan Diet, Mark Hyman highlights how easy it can be to prepare a smoothie, a salad, and a basic stir-fry. Just knowing how to fix these can be a first step to cooking delicious and nutritious meals.

  • Smoothie: Blend together 8 ounces of unsweetened non-dairy milk, ½ cup of frozen berries, 1 handful of leafy greens, 1 tablespoon of nut butter, and 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds or chia seeds (or pick other ingredients of your choice).
  • Salad: In a salad bowl, add 1 bunch of chopped greens, non-starchy vegetables of your choice (peppers, cucumbers, radish, fennel, green onion, olives), a can of wild salmon or 2 to 6 ounces of chicken (or other protein), 3 tablespoons of herbs and spices of your choice (parsley, cilantro, mint, basil), 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. Mix together.
  • Stir-fry: Heat avocado oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes; then add chopped or pressed garlic, a little ginger, and 3 cups of chopped vegetables (such as fennel, leeks, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus, onions, broccoli, etc.). Add spices such as paprika or cumin. Make it Asian with a little bit of toasted sesame oil, gluten-free tamari, and mirin (or your favorite paleo-approved stir-fry sauce). Cook for about 10-15 minutes or less. Top with lemon juice and fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro. Add salt to taste. Add a protein of your choice (for example, cooked ground meat or sliced chicken).

In Summary

By implementing just a few shopping strategies and taking the time to cook simple meals at home, you are opening the door to a world of better health and wellness. If you prioritize what is really giving you the nutrients you need, Primal/Paleo eating can be enjoyed even on a tight budget. This will also most likely save you money down the road. As they say, “Health is Wealth.”

Happy Easter!

References

Hyman, Mark. The Pegan Diet: 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming Your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World. New York, Little, Brown Spark, A Hachette Book Group, 2021, pp. 144-45, 176–77.

James, Abel. The Wild Diet: Go beyond Paleo to Burn Fat, Beat Cravings, and Drop 20 Pounds in 40 Days. New York, Penguin Random House, 19 Jan. 2016, pp. 300–301.

You can also find me on Instagram.