Halloween is just around the corner, and soon families across the country will be making jack o’ lanterns and baking pumpkin pie. This year, remember to save the seeds from your pumpkin carving parties. Not only do they make a great snack, but their high zinc content can also have several benefits on your family’s eye health.
Every ounce of pumpkin seed contains around 2 milligrams of zinc, according to Mercola. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that women and men consume around 8 and 11 milligrams of this mineral a day, respectively. And according to The World’s Healthiest Foods, it’s best to buy and eat seeds in the shell as zinc is concentrated along a very thin layer between the husk and the seed.
Protection for the Eyes: Zinc enables vitamin A to travel from your liver to your retina to create melanin, a pigment that protects the eye.
Reduce Macular Degeneration: Eye doctors recommend zinc to patients at high risk or in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study, sponsored by the National Eye Institute, found that taking 40 to 80 milligrams of zinc a day, along with the antioxidants beta carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C, can slow progression by around 25 percent and reduce the loss of visual acuity by about 19 percent.
Improved Vision: According to the American Optometric Association, studies have found that people with impaired vision and cataracts are often deficient in zinc.
Lower Susceptibility to Infection: Zinc is important for the immune system, and a deficiency can lead to infection in any part of the body, including the eyes.
Keep your kids healthy all year round by always paying attention to their eye health and safety. One of the most important ways to stay safe is to ensure your kids wear sunglasses whenever they go outdoors. Check out the Real Kids’ collection to find a pair of shades for your children.