5 recipes that will help you manage and halt diabetic retinopathy (DR)
The idea that diabetic retinopathy can be managed or stopped on its tracks through nutrition, is good news. Since, blood vessels in the retina of DR sufferers become damaged overtime, and this may lead to blindness. The foods that will help you manage and halt diabetic retinopathy need to be rich in two carotenoids called: lutein and zeaxanthin, because they both act in the retina.
The role of lutein in zeaxathin in eye health is scientifically established. These two carotenoids are present in high concentrations in the retina, and can only be consumed through diet, which explains why nutrition can help you manage and halt diabetic retinopathy. Supplementation of Lutein and Zeaxanthin is especially relevant to diabetes sufferers, whom were found to have lower serum concentration of these carotenoids in the retina.
Nutritional therapy as a way to manage and halt diabetic retinopathy has been reported to be extremely efficient before DR has set in, but it can also help in managing this eye disease. The American Optometric Association recommends 10 mg/day of lutein and 2 mg/day of a zeaxanthin supplement.
According to the Self Nutrition Data website, some of the best foods are for increasing your intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, are: Spinach, orange pepper, kiwi fruit, grapes, Raw kale, turnip greens, coriander, sweet potato leaves, peas, egg yolk, squash, zucchini, brocolli and dandelion greens both of which have been reported to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Not Spike blood sugar.
So, here are the 5 recipes using some of these ingredients that will help you manage and halt diabetic retinopathy (DR).
1) Thai Vegetarian Spring Rolls (makes 20 spring rolls)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1 cup peas
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon, finely diced ginger
2 coriander roots, finely diced
200g finely sliced cabbage
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons diced coriander leaves
1 packet spring rolls
2 tablespoons cold water
peanut oil, as required
1.In a wok heat the oil then add the carrots, peas, garlic, ginger
and coriander root, cook until the the vegetables start to soften is
almost cooked through.
2.Add the cabbage, fish sauce, sugar and coriander leaves, cook
until the vegetables are soft.
3.Lay out one spring roll sheet at a time then add a strip of the
filling diagonally across. Fold the top point over the filling, then fold
in both the side points. On the final point brush with the water
before rolling the spring roll over it so it seals.
4.Fry in a frying pan with about a centimeter of peanut oil until golden.
2)Dandelion and baby Kale salad
1 cup quinoa, cooked and chilled
1 cup black beans, cooked and chilled
½ cup cherry tomatoes, slivered
½ cup dandelion leaves, chopped finely
½ cup scallions, chopped
½ cup baby kale
½ cup chopped basil
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. mild olive oil
Salt (substitute Kelp) to taste
In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together.
Add salt to taste.
3) Sautéed Squash and Zucchini
2 medium-size yellow squash
2 medium-size zucchini
1 small onion
1 tablespoon hot oil
1 minced garlic clove
salt and pepper
Cut 2 medium-size yellow squash and 2 medium-size zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and chop 1 small onion. Sauté vegetables in 1 tablespoon hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add 1 minced garlic clove, and sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
4) sweet potato and broccoli frittata ( 5 portions)
10 eggs (free range organic if you can)
1.5 cups sweet potato diced and steamed or roasted until soft
1.5 cups broccoli florets, well chopped into small pieces
2 handfuls kale leaves, finely torn into small pieces (you can substitute spinach or rocket)
2 tsp dried oregano (or any dried herb that you prefer)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional, I like the cheesy flavour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas (optional, to sprinkle on top)
Preheat oven to 180 C and grease a large baking dish with
coconut oil/olive oil etc.
Arrange the sweet potato, broccoli and leafy greens evenly in the
Whisk together the eggs, herbs, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the baking dish,
pressing the vegetables down into the mixture a little if you need
Sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds if you are using them.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the centre of the
Frittata feels firm to touch and the top has started to brown.
The frittata will puff up a bit while baking but will settle down
again once cooled. Once cool, slice into pieces and store in the fridge. This usually lasts 5 days.
5) Sauteed Sweet Potato Greens
1 large bunch sweet potato greens (about half a pound)
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
Remove sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems. Heat olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes. Add stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve.
Other scientifically proven remedies that treat diabetic retinopathy are: ginkgo biloba and omega 3 fatty acids. Green tea has also been reported to treat diabetes, because it has been shown to protected the retina against damage associated with glutamate (an amino acid) toxicity.