Cataract Awareness Month: Prevention with Nutrition

Every year, millions of people undergo cataract surgery in the U.S., making it one of the most common ocular conditions to affect men and women of all ages. However, what is lost in the process is how to prevent cataracts in the first place.

Arizona Retinal Specialists already has a handful of articles dedicated to cataract treatments. In this blog post, to honor Cataract Awareness Month, we are tackling the role of nutrition in preventing cataracts. Let’s discuss.

Research and Findings

The following are recent findings suggesting that nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing cataracts:

  • An extensive study involving adult women in Iowa, Oregon, and Wisconsin published in the Archives of Ophthalmology concluded that eating foods rich in a wide array of vitamins and minerals might help delay the development of cataracts.
  • A study of female health professionals conducted at Harvard Medical School and published in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that higher intakes of vitamin E from food and supplements were associated with significantly less risk of cataract formation.
  • A 10-year study consisting of more than 2,400 older adults in Australia published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin C or the combined intake of multiple antioxidants significantly reduced the risk of cataract development.

What to Feed Your Body to Prevent Cataracts

1. Consume more foods rich in Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is an organic, strongly colored red-orange pigment known to not only prevent cataract formation, but also protect against cancer and aging. Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin that is best paired with healthy fat found in nuts and plants oils (to aid absorption). The best sources of beta-carotene are carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, kale, turnip, and spinach.

2. Have your daily dose of Vitamin C

Vitamin C offers plenty of health benefits, including its ability to fight cataracts by slowing their progression. The American Optometric Association recommends a daily intake of at least 250 mg of vitamin C for optimum eye health. Oranges are well-known for their vitamin C content, and green hot chili peppers are another excellent source with an impressive 243 mg/100 g per serving. Other great sources of vitamin C include dark leafy greens, guavas, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, papayas, and tomatoes.

3. Take Vitamin E  

Although vitamin E is renowned for protecting the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays, it also offers tremendous protection against cataract formation. Good sources of vitamin E are almonds, sunflower seeds, mustard greens, kale, chard, and plant oils.

A Word of Advice

The next time you visit your local grocery store or market, do not forget to load up on healthy, quality produce to ward off cataracts. With the delightful assortments of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, you have numerous food options to help protect your eyes from free-radical damage.

Visit Your Eye Doctor

Even if your vision is clear, make it a priority to schedule yearly dilated eye exams. Routine visits allow eye care professionals to look for signs of cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other ocular disorders. If you are looking for reliable retinal specialists in Sun City, Arizona, contact us today at 623-474-3937 to schedule a consultation.

NOTICE TO USERS is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on