Posted by: juliegriffey | November 22, 2010

Is Your Thanksgiving Feast Good for Your Eyes?

I thought that in honor of Thanksgiving week I could help everyone justify stuffing their faces by touting the heath benefits (especially optical health benefits) of some of the most popular Thanksgiving dishes.

Turkey has many health benefits.  It’s a lean source of protein.  It also contains a mineral called selenium which boosts the immune system and helps prevent cancer.  But as far as your eyes go… turkey doesn’t do much for you.  Unless you want to consider the fact that eating turkey makes you sleepy which in turn gives your eyes a rest… I know – that’s stretching it.

Vitamin A is essential in good optical health.  It “stops the degeneration process of the cornea and the degeneration of the functioning of the retina.”  Fortunately, most of us will be getting plenty of vitamin A in our Thanksgiving meal because a primary source of vitamin A is butter! Bring on the rolls and butter, pecan pie, mashed potatoes…

Another important vitamin for your eyes is vitamin C.  It reduces your risk for macular degeneration, cataracts and may help prevent glaucoma.  Most people know that citrus is chock full of vitamin C – but not typically part of a Thanksgiving feast.  Look for red bell peppers, broccoli and berries on your table to work in some vitamin C.

Vitamin E, like the other vitamins mentioned, is an antioxidant.  “Antioxidants get rid of the free radicals that can damage your body and eyes.”  It, too, prevents cataracts and macular degeneration.  You should have plenty of opportunities to get vitamin E in your Thanksgiving feast as nuts are your best source for this vitamin.  Another good reason to indulge in some pecan pie.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



  1. Nice turkey photo.

    I’ll have turkey this week. Have a Merry Christmas and a Great New Year!

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