As we gather with friends and family for barbecues, travel to vacation houses and head to the beach, it’s important to protect our skin this summer. July is UV Safety Month and experts stress that eye protection is just as important as skin. Long-term sun exposure not only causes sunburn but it can also lead to a number of vision complications, including Photokeratitis (corneal sunburn that can result in temporary vision loss), corneas, and even skin cancer around the eyelids. Sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses and wearing a hat are common ways to safeguard your peepers and your largest organ. However, diet can also help your skin and eyes.
Medical News Today says that two cups of watercress contains 48% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C and 44% of vitamin A. According to the American Optometric Association, “scientific evidence suggests vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts, and when taken in combination with other essential nutrients, can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and visual acuity loss.”
In addition to its vitamin A and C power, the leafy green contains lutein. What’s lutein you ask? It’s an antioxidant found most notably in dark green leafy vegetables. It’s crucial to eye health because it protects against UV damage before it can damage the sensitive part of the retina that is vital to detailed sight. [Bausch + Lomb]
Another advantage for adding watercress to your diet is that it can also improve your skin! In a study reported by the Daily Mail, “10 out of 11 female volunteers experienced visible improvements to their skin after just four weeks of adding one bag of watercress a day to their diet.”
Incorporating watercress into your summer bites is simple. Add it in your sandwich in lieu of romaine or iceberg lettuce or mix a handful of it into your lunchtime salad. What are you waiting for? Take care of your eyes and skin this summer by picking up the certified antioxidant-rich superfoods, Live Gourmet® brand Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic brand Living Watercress!