“In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. . . . Grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator.” Ellen White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 81.
Looking at computer or mobile phone screens all day long is not good for our eyes. Staying up late at night watching movies does not help our brain either. In this article we hope to remind ourselves that food works as medicine for our eyes and brain.
Dark-green and leafy vegetables are our eyes’ and brain’s best friend. Consume them regularly and you will keep up a good fight against eyesight degradation and cognitive decline. They might taste bitter, peppery, or slimey sometimes, but they are superior to any other artificial supplements.
Spinach, kale, beet greens, arugula, Swiss Chard, watercress, lettuce, and endives are rich in carotenoids, lutein, and dietary nitrates. Research says that lutein is essential for ocular and cognitive health (eye and brain functions).
Lutein is also an antioxidant that works closely in the macula of our eyes. It absorbs UV light rays that are damaging to the eyes. Our brain also uses lutein to minimizes the oxidative stress, while stimulating and mobilizing the protective anti-inflammatory pathways to sustain a smooth transfer of signals.
Nitrates from these vegetables are converted to nitric oxide inside the body. This makes the blood vessels relax and also prevents them from stiffening up with age. It also prevents blood clots by disallowing platelets from clustering together. Overall, it gives us a better blood pressure control.
Lutein is unaffected with boiling, so you can eat it cooked or raw in salad or smoothie. One-half or one cup of dark-green leafy vegetables in a day contains more nutrients than the less darker green vegetables. As an example, one serving of kale has eleven times more lutein than broccoli.
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Here’s a simple Green Smoothie recipe to enjoy (3-4 servings):
- 2 young coconut (water including the meat)
- 3 bananas (frozen is much better)
- 2 ripe mangoes
- A bunch of spinach (250 grams)
- 1 tbs sunflower seeds
- 1 tbs pumpkin seeds
- A handful of nuts (optional)
Blend all the ingredients and enjoy!
This recipe was shared to us by Ms. Loida Opelario during the Sabbath Afternoon Praise program at Bangkok International Church of Seventh-day Adventists. Ms. Loida was identified with a condition in year 2011 that may lead to cervical cancer, but now enjoys life to the full by following a vegetarian diet.
So grab those dark-green and leafy vegetables, and increase your daily intake. It is both cheap and healthy at the same time. Praise God for His provisions!
“Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1:12