Eat to better vision

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common complaint for many older people. Here are two recipes to that can contribute to better eye health.
iStock 1186006808

AMD occurs when the cells of the macula become damaged and stop functioning. There are also two types of AMD: Wet AMD & Dry AMD.

“Dry” AMD is the most common form of the condition. It develops very slowly causing gradual loss of central vision. “Wet” AMD results in new blood vessels growing behind the retina, this causes bleeding and scarring, which can lead to sight loss.

There are also a number of risk factors associated with AMD, including age, as the condition is more likely to appear in older people, smoking and damage caused by too much retina exposure to sunlight.

So how best to stop AMD taking hold? Eating a healthy and balanced diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, can help maintain healthy eyes, while vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and peas contain high levels of lutein, an ingredient which has been shown to help promote healthy vision. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, flaxseed and walnuts, have also been shown to help benefit eye health by protecting against oxidative stress.

Spinach and Smoked Salmon Eggs Royale With Pumpkin Seeds

This colourful, healthy and tasty brunch idea can be part prepared ahead of time and then be ready in moments. Prepare and cook the tomatoes and the pumpkin seeds the day or evening before and you’re ready to go.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1- 1 and a half hours


8 tomatoes on the vine, halved crossways
1 fat garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
3 tablespoons (30g) pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
200g lightly smoked salmon
200g bag baby leaf spinach
4 large eggs at room temperature
4 English breakfast muffins, halved


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/150C fan/Gas mark 4. Place the tomatoes, cut side up on a wire rack sitting on a baking tray. Mix the garlic and rapeseed oil with some seasoning and spoon over the cut sides of the tomatoes. Leave to slowly roast for about 1 hour or up to 1 hour and a half.
    2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a small ovenproof non-stick frying pan and heat, tossing over the heat for a couple of minutes, until they smell toasted and they start to pop. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce, stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid has evaporated. Place in the oven with the tomatoes for 10 minutes, so they dry out and remove to cool.
    3. When ready to serve, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and turn down until it’s barely a simmer. Create a whirlpool with the end of a wooden spoon and then break the eggs in one at a time, don’t worry if it looks like they’re cooking together, they will separate again when set. Leave them completely alone for 4 minutes (5 minutes if you like them less runny) and then drain each one and place on kitchen roll to dry.
    4. Whilst the eggs poach, microwave or steam the spinach for 2 minutes to wilt and toast the muffins.
    5. To serve, place two toasted muffins halves on each plate, arrange the spinach, tomatoes and salmon on top and finish with a poached egg and a sprinkle of the roasted pumpkin seeds.

    GDA info:
    441 cals – 22%
    8.5g sugar – 9%
    23g fat – 33%
    4g sat fat – 20%
    2.9 salt – 48%
    Lutein – 5.6mg
    Omega-3 Fats– 1.5g

Creamy Salmon Pasta Carbonara With Balsamic Spinach Salad

This is a fresh tasting and lighter alternative to the traditional carbonara with the same smoky flavour appeal you would get from the bacon, but this time from the smoked salmon. If serving to very young children, you might want to omit the mustard.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes


150g baby leaf spinach
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin rapeseed oil


1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to pack instructions.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix the crème fraiche, egg yolks, mustard, dill, lemon zest and juice and some seasoning. Place the spinach and tomatoes in a large serving bowl.
3. Drain the pasta when it’s ready and place back in the saucepan, but not over the heat. Add both types of salmon, the crème fraiche and the lemon sauce. Mix really well. Serve in pasta bowls.
4. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and oil with some seasoning over the salad and serve on the side.

Each serving contains

Calories Sugar Fat Sat Fat Salt
619, (31%) 7.1g (8%) 21.1g (30%) 6.4g (32%) 3g (50%)

(Designed as a GDA label) of an adult’s daily guideline amount

Lutein Omega-3 Fats
4.3mg* 0.5g*

When was the last time your eyes were tested?

If you need eyewear but don’t know which type will be best for you, your Specsavers optician will recommend various options. This easy-to-use tool will help you find your nearest Specsavers Optician.

>> Back to Eye Health in Later Life hub

Last modified: October 17, 2022

Written by 5:28 pm Eye health in later life