Can Foods Rich in Antioxidants Reduce Cataract Risk?
Updated: Feb 10
Your habits, diet, and lifestyle can affect your overall health and your vision. Aside from regularly visiting your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam, you must also be mindful of what you eat. Including certain food items and nutrients in your daily meals will go a long way to preserving your vision and keeping your eyes healthy.
Read on to find out antioxidant-rich foods can lower your risk of developing cataracts.
What the Experts Say
Research shows that some nutrients can help delay the development and progression of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These two eye conditions are the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment in the U.S.
Experts have a theory that if the progression of cataracts could be delayed by 10 years, annual cataract surgeries would go down by 45 percent. Eating a healthy diet is among the best ways to delay the progression of cataracts. Moreover, regular visits to your eye doctor for an eye exam can help with the early detection and treatment of cataracts and AMD.
What to Include in Your Diet
Vitamin C and E
Ascorbic acid or vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables can help lower the risk of developing cataracts as suggested by scientific evidence. With the combination of other nutrients, it can slow the progression of AMD and visual acuity loss. Moreover, you can get vitamin E from nuts, fortified cereals, and sweet potatoes. According to research, it protects cells in your eyes from free radicals that harm healthy tissues.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin include green leafy vegetables and eggs. Studies show that these nutrients reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases like AMD and cataracts.
Zinc helps in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina so it can produce melanin, a protective eye pigment. It’s mostly concentrated in the retina and choroid, a vascular tissue layer under the retina.
Essential Fatty Acids
Not all kinds of fats are bad. For instance, research shows omega-3 fatty acids are essential in visual development and retinal function. They also help keep the nervous system in good shape and boost your immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids may help improve dry symptoms as well.
Experiencing changes in your vision? Visit your local optometry clinic as soon as possible. For your eye care needs, you can turn to Scope Optometry. Call us at (949) 409-3040 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment.