If you’re like me you’re probably not too familiar with the term “macular degeneration.” In short, it’s a form of vision loss, specifically damage of the central part of the retina (the macula) which allows us to see details clearly. It’s not the same as going blind and yet it can result in complete loss of central vision so it is just as serious. It’s also an incurable eye disease that afflicts more than 10 million Americans. While macular degeneration can strike people of any age, it’s the 65 and over demographic that is most at risk.
But did you know (I didn’t necessarily) that eating smartly, as in feasting on a diet rich in key nutrients for eye health, can potentially delay the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration. While it’s always a good idea to eat a well-rounded diet, one complete with scores of nutritious items, it’s never a bad idea to focus on those foods that are also good for the eyes. Not being able to see is a sense that most of us would be utterly lost without.
When I was contacted about reviewing a new cookbook that was published by the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, Eat Right For Your Sight, I said sure. The promise of there being numerous global-themed recipes definitely helped in swaying me. After receiving it, I was greatly impressed with this lovely book written by Jennifer Trainer Thompson and Johanna M. Seddon.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t own any “healthy cooking/healthy foods” cookbooks. If you were to see my collection you would find that they’re all of a particular country’s/region’s cuisine. And yet, I should definitely be on the lookout for cookbooks like ERFYS since there are recipes for everything from Mango Pico de Gallo to Jacques Pepin’s Provence Pizza to Corn and Sweet Potato Tamales with Chipotle Sauce to even Spa Baklava. These are not just recipes akin to the likes of “carrot and kale smoothies.”
The cookbook is broken down into the following chapters-small bites, soups, salads, main courses, side dishes, desserts and healthy drinks. Each recipe contains a brief summary of the nutritional benefits of the main ingredients, which I think is a great way of really getting to know what you’re eating. While not all of the recipes have this, many also feature a nutritional profile, letting you know how many calories the dish contains, as well as information like protein, fat, sodium, and vitamin levels.
While some cookbooks bill themselves as having “simple” recipes, I don’t think this is always the case. However, when perusing the many different recipes, especially those that caught my fancy (caprese salad, carrot cumin soup), these really are. I’ve been cooking for enough years to know that after reading a recipe for the first time, yes, it’s actually easy, or no, no way in heck I’m going near that. Many recipes feature a nominal number of ingredients and most only have a couple of steps to them.
Although I typically only break out my ethnic cookbooks for my one night a week special cooking, ERFYS is the type that I would definitely make use of during the work week. Making dinner after work doesn’t necessarily mean that frozen meals and skillet bags are the only quick things one can whip up.
I also like the helpful non-recipe information that is included here, things like nutrients that are critical to eye health (you’re told what they are as well as where you can find them) and a list of foods to have in your pantry (I’m definitely lacking in this department). And the food photographs are also to die for. Bright, glossy, colored ones.
If any of the following things apply to you, then Eat Right For Your Sight is just for you: you’re somewhat afraid of cooking (akin to going in the pool’s deep end), you think you can’t possibly make anything that comes from reading a recipe, you don’t have time for elaborate cooking, or you genuinely care about your vision. It’s a beautiful cookbook with an even better purpose-making sure society is aware of a scary disease.
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy of the cookbook in exchange for a review but as always,
all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.