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Best Foods for Your Vision

People have become more and more concerned with their health and the foods that they put in their bodies. Organic and local foods have received quite a boost in recent times, and the importance of fruits and vegetables that we learned about on the food pyramid have become even more relevant. Here are some foods that are not only good for your health, but also great for your vision.

Know Your Vitamins

The first step to improving your vision is to know which vitamins are the best for your eyes. Vitamins C, E, and A have been proven to be the best for your eyes, as well as Vitamin B3 and Lutein.

Vitamin C is not only great for the immune system, but also inexpensive and excellent for anyone that suffers from macular degeneration. Foods that contain vitamin C consist of: oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, papaya, mango, kiwi, and red, yellow, and orange peppers.

Vitamin E is found in oils, nuts, asparagus, avocado, mango, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin A is excellent for night vision and the quality of sight. Foods with vitamin A are: sweet potatoes, kale, winter squash, spinach, collard greens, carrots, and red bell peppers.

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is abundant in breakfast cereals and is believed to be especially helpful for those that suffer from retinal deterioration.

Lutein is great for those of us who desire the protection given by sunglasses without actually having to wear sunglasses. Lutein protects the eyes from the more harmful rays of the sun; it can also help to reverse the deteriorating effects of macular deterioration. Lutein is found in spinach, kale, broccoli, corn, romaine lettuce, peas, collard greens, bell peppers, and cantaloupe.

Green Vegetables

Eating your greens is also good for your eyes. The reason for this is because leafy greens contain what are known as carotenoids. Carotenoids are unique chemicals that are found in the pigments that color plants. They also have beneficial agents that act as antioxidants for humans. Greens that are rich in carotenoids are kale and spinach.

Herbs

Herbs that can aid and even improve vision are:

  • Bilberry, which is used as an antioxidant for the eyes and vascular tissues
  • Ginkgo Biloba, which has been successful in the treatment of glaucoma
  • Ju Hua (chrysanthemum flower), which is used for red and puffy eyes
  • Qing Xiang Zi (celosia seeds), which are excellent for improving vision and soothing red and swollen eyes, as well as helping people with cataracts

It’s understandably difficult to try and eat the proper serving of each of these foods every day in order to receive the right amount of beneficial vitamins. For that reason, it may be a good idea to instead satisfy your daily intake with the use of supplements. For any supplements that are too expensive, gaining the vitamins from their natural source may be your best option. Keep an eye on your health and your vision will never fail you.

About the Author

Sara Roberts is a content contributor for Just Eyewear, an eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses prescription retailer.

*Image from commons.wikimedia.org.*

The “white-bread-and-butter fried cheese sandwich” of years past is transformed with spelt bread, low-fat cheddar cheese, whole grain mustard and thinly sliced tart apples. And, while we may have updated this classic sandwich for modern and health-conscious tastes, we didn’t dare tamper with its trademark simple assembly or minimal ingredients. Five ingredients and 10 minutes is all you’ll need to get our grilled cheese on the table!

Apple Grilled Cheese with Grainy Mustard

Makes 2 sandwiches. Hands-on time: 5 minutes. Total time: 10 minutes.

Ingredients

• 4 slices spelt bread or sprouted whole-grain bread

• 1 tsp olive oil

• 1 tsp whole-grain Dijon mustard

• 2 oz low-fat cheddar cheese, finely grated, divided

• 1/2 medium Granny Smith apple or other tart apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise

TIP: Try to slice the apple as thinly as possible using a mandolin or sharp knife.

Preparation

ONE: Lay bread out on clean work surface and lightly brush top side of each piece with oil. Turn two pieces of bread over and spread with mustard. Divide half of cheese between both mustard-covered slices, arranging cheese in a thin layer. Cover cheese with a layer of apples, dividing evenly between both slices, followed by remaining cheese. Top each with other half of bread, oiled-side-up, making two sandwiches.

TWO: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Place sandwiches in pan and cook until light golden brown on bottom. Flip, using a spatula, and continue to cook until cheese has melted and bread is golden brown on other side, about six minutes total. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

OPTION: If you have a panini grill, try using it in lieu of the nonstick skillet for even easier no-flipping-required cooking.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Best of Clean Eating.*

It may almost be March, but cold & flu season is not over just yet! Keeping little hands from touching runny noses is Sniffle Buddies – ingenious little cuffs that can be worn to tend to itches, sniffles, and tickles. These ultra-soft, washable wristbands teach young children “mindful” wiping by keeping germ-ridden hands away from their noses, eyes and mouths. Rather than running after your tot during playtime with a tissue to catch every drip and drop, you can redirect their hands and sleeves by having them wear one of these extremely handy wristbands.

Made in the USA of eco-friendly bamboo & organic cotton, Sniffle Buddies reduce paper waste and as they say, “help to lighten the load of our landfills one sniffle at a time!” This is such a smart idea – “Mom” loves that she can send her daughter off to play with ease, knowing that she is not constantly wiping her nose with the back of her hand when she has the sniffles. In addition to being used for colds and allergies, Sniffle Buddies can be used by those with Special Needs to tend to drool, or they can be used as a sweatband for biking, hiking, running, or skiing.

Sniffle Buddies are available in both children’s and adult’s sizes in a wide variety of colors, as well as a dye-free, natural wristband for those with extra sensitivities. To order, visit www.snifflebuddies.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Your favorite organic juices can now be purchased at a discount – visit R.W. Knudsen Family®’s website to print out their coupons online on their Just Juice and Light Juice products, as well as exclusive Sunflower Farmer’s Market coupons.

Click here to sign up and print your coupons.

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

10 Benefits of Probiotics

By Evan Jerkunica

Probiotic supplements are live microorganisms – usually bacteria but sometimes yeasts– that are ingested for health benefits. Probiotics can be purchased as a supplement or eaten in certain natural foods such as yogurt with live and active cultures. People have been eating cultured yogurt for thousands of years, but the health benefits of probiotics are starting to be fully understood now. Potential health benefits of probiotics include:

Reducing Digestive Problems Caused by Antibiotics

Antibiotics used to treat infections can kill off beneficial bacteria in the intestines that are necessary for proper digestion. Many people taking antibiotics experience uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea. It has been found that consuming probiotics can prevent this by replenishing the natural populations of beneficial gastrointestinal bacteria.

Improving Absorption of Minerals

Lactobacilli in particular may help with absorption of trace minerals. Taking probiotic supplements may make you less likely to have a deficiency in these dietary nutrients.

Benefits for the Lactose Intolerant

Many lactose-intolerant individuals can eat yogurt, because the lactobacilli in the yogurt culture convert lactose sugar into lactic acid, which does not cause the uncomfortable digestive symptoms of lactose intolerance. Similarly, probiotic supplements with lactobacilli can improve digestion of lactose.

Preventing Infections

Probiotics may reduce the incidence of infections caused by harmful, invasive bacteria, especially after taking antibiotics. Without a healthy population of gastrointestinal bacteria, you are more prone to infections. If probiotics are taken, the beneficial bacteria are replenished and it is more difficult for harmful bacteria to invade your body and multiply.

Improving Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Lactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium infantis strain 35624 probiotic supplements have both been shown in clinical studies to improve some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Reducing Urinary Tract Infections

Taking probiotic supplements may decrease the incidence of both urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginal infections by decreasing the growth of infection-causing bacteria.

Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Several different probiotic supplements have been found useful for treating and preventing recurrence of ulcerative colitis.

Helping with Ulcers

Probiotic supplements may reduce the incidence and duration of ulcers by competing with the harmful Heliobacter pylori bacteria that cause ulcers.

Reducing Incidence of Colon Cancer

Some strains of Lactobacillus are thought to reduce the incidence of colon cancer by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme that can form carcinogens in the colon. Populations that consume more dairy foods containing lactobacilli have a lower incidence of colon cancer.

Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

Probiotic supplements may have a small beneficial effect on hypertension and high cholesterol levels. This does not replace the need for medical treatment of these conditions, but probiotics can help.

Probiotics are safe except in people with severe immune deficiencies.

*Image provided by Voskos.*

Easy to make, this protein-packed snack is perfect for when you need something to eat in a hurry. Mixing up the fruits will alter the flavor and keep this dish interesting each time you make it.

Power Yogurt for One

Serves 1. Hands-on time: 2 minutes. Total time: 2 minutes.

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

• 1 scoop whey protein powder, flavor of choice

• 1/3 cup sliced strawberries

• 1 tsp flaxseed oil

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

Place all ingredients in a bowl or take-away container and mix until protein powder is thoroughly blended in.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Best of Clean Eating.*

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is excited to announce that the Winner of Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food Giveaway is Amie D! We hope that you enjoy your Chocolate Lover’s Pack! Thanks to everyone who entered this eco-fabulous giveaway!

*Image provided by Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food.*

Making a frittata for Sunday brunch this weekend? Don’t forget to head over to Organic Valley’s website to take advantage of their printable coupons on everything from eggs, yogurt, milk, butter and cheese! The coupons are good for 30 days after you print them out.

Click here to print yours out today!

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Spring Cleaning for a Healthy You

Spring cleaning is not only good for your home, it’s good for your body, mind and soul. As spring begins to appear, take this opportunity to clean out in ways to benefit you physically, mentally and emotionally.

A Trip to the Dentist

Your teeth can indicate just how healthy you are. Tooth decay can lead to more serious, long-term health issues, such as gum disease and even heart troubles. If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, make an appointment to get a dental exam, x-rays and a cleaning.

“An exam and x-rays will help us to identify any potential problems,” states Dr. Barber, a dentist in Vancouver, WA. “If they aren’t taken care of now, what were once little problems can become large, painful, and expensive.”

Once you’ve visited the dentist during this period of spring cleaning, make and keep an appointment with your dental professional every six months to maintain a healthy mouth.

File and Recycle

If you’re anything like me, your life is full of piles of papers. Clearing out this physical clutter will help clear out the mind as well. File important papers appropriately and shred those that you no longer need. Recycle the shredded leftovers to keep them out of local landfills.

Physical files in your home office aren’t the only ones that need to be maintained. Think about what would happen if your computer suddenly stopped working. Grab a USB memory stick or a portable hard drive and back up the files on your computer. That way, you know that your information is retrievable even if your computer unexpectedly fizzles.

Check On Your Health

Your body may need a bit of a tune-up during this spring cleaning process. Make an appointment with your doctor for a physical, especially if it’s been awhile. Request a blood panel to check on your cholesterol, thyroid and blood sugar levels. Talk with your doctor about any health concerns or questions you may have while you’re there.

Reduce and Reuse

Closets can become crammed with stuff that we no longer use. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to take inventory of your possessions. Look ahead to warmer spring and summer months and decide if you want to hold a garage sale. If so, create two piles – one for items to sell at a garage sale and one for items to give away. In this process, you may come across things that you can reuse, which is great – but only keep them if they’ll truly be helpful. Then prepare items for the garage sale and donate whatever isn’t sold to a local worthy cause.

Clean Out Commitments

We can become bogged down mentally and emotionally by all of the commitments that fill our calendars. Take stock of how you spend your time, and ask yourself if what you’re doing over the days and weeks is addressing your needs. It could be time to adjust or even stop participating in some commitments for a short time to gain more balance in your life.

This kind of spring cleaning will help ensure greater health as we observe the signs of spring.

About the Author

Kelly Wilson is a busy mom and freelance writer. For more information about maintaining a healthy smile, contact Dr. Barber, a dentist in Vancouver, WA, at Smiles Dental.