As cases of conjunctivitis, red eyes and other eye infections are rising across India, this is the perfect time to focus on improving your eye health. And while there are plenty of foods you can eat to improve eye health, adding them to your daily diet will require smart meal prep. Here are all the meal prep tips and tricks you need this monsoon.
If you haven’t already come across this news, then you should know that cases of conjunctivitis are on the rise across India during this monsoon season. Apart from cases of conjunctivitis rising in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, there are also many reported cases of red eye and other eye infections. Clearly, this season poses a major risk to eye health and so, one must take all possible steps to prevent eye diseases and infections during monsoon. Doing this with dietary changes is one of the easiest ways.
A monsoon diet for eye health should include nutrient-rich foods that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support optimal vision and protect the eyes from potential monsoon-related issues. Include a variety of colourful vegetables like spinach, kale, carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes. These vegetables are rich in antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, which help protect the eyes from harmful free radicals and support eye health. Incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Consume fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and zinc, which contribute to overall eye health and protect against age-related vision issues. But given that there are so many sources of nutrition for optimal eye health, making appropriate diet changes that include all the foods you absolutely need to prevent conjunctivitis and other eye diseases can prove to be a challenge. Meal prepping can help ensure you have a well-balanced and eye-friendly diet during the rainy season.
Meal prepping allows you to have eye-healthy foods readily available, saving time and effort during the monsoon season. By prepping meals and snacks in advance, you can control portion sizes, helping avoid overeating and maintain a balanced diet. Having prepped meals makes it less likely to indulge in unhealthy options, promoting better food choices. And most important of all, meal prepping allows you to spend less time in the kitchen each day, especially during busy monsoon days.
Wondering how to meal prep properly this monsoon to get better eye health and prevent conjunctivitis? Here are all the key tips and tricks you need.
Video Credit: YouTube/Jamie Oliver
1. Make Colorful Salad Jars: Prepare vibrant salads with an array of eye-friendly vegetables in mason jars. Include leafy greens like spinach and kale, which are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect the eyes from harmful blue light and reduce the risk of cataracts. Add sliced carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes, which contain beta-carotene and Vitamin C, both essential for maintaining healthy vision.
2. Prepare Smoothie Packs: Create convenient smoothie packs filled with eye-nourishing ingredients. Use frozen berries like blueberries and strawberries, which are rich in anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that support eye health. Include kiwis, which are loaded with Vitamin C and Vitamin E, promoting collagen production and protecting the eyes from oxidative stress. Add leafy greens such as spinach for additional nutrients.
3. Store Roasted Veggies: Roasting vegetables is a delicious way to enhance their flavors and retain their nutrients. Monsoon-friendly options include sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, while carrots provide both beta-carotene and Vitamin A, essential for maintaining good vision. Broccoli contains lutein and Vitamin C, benefiting eye health.
4. Make Overnight Oats: Prepare eye-nourishing overnight oats by combining oats, chia seeds, and almond milk in individual jars. Chia seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of dry eyes and maintain overall eye health. Top with mixed berries, like raspberries and blackberries, for a boost of antioxidants and Vitamin C.
5. Portion Nuts and Seeds: Create small portions of nuts and seeds that are beneficial for eye health. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, which helps protect the eyes from oxidative damage. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for the retina. Flaxseeds are another source of omega-3 fatty acids, supporting eye health and reducing inflammation.
6. Pre-Cook Whole Grains: Cook batches of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and barley. These grains have a low glycemic index, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common eye condition.
7. Pack Citrus Fruits: Peel and segment citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits to have as a refreshing and Vitamin C-rich snack. Vitamin C is essential for the health of blood vessels in the eyes and may reduce the risk of cataracts.
8. Pre-cut Veggies: Slice and store cucumber, bell peppers, and celery sticks in the refrigerator for quick and hydrating snacks. Cucumbers are cooling and can reduce puffiness around the eyes, while bell peppers contain Vitamin C and beta-carotene.