According to the CDC approximately 16% of Americans aged 40 or older have cataract, which is a deterioration of proteins in the lens of the eye that results in cloudiness across the lens of the eye and impairs vision. (1) Oxidative damage occurs due to free radicals. (2) In an attempt to reduce the oxidative damage to the proteins in the eye, be sure to include these foods for their antioxidant nutrients.
Beta Carotene is the yellow/orange/red pigment found in foods like: eggs, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash and tomatoes.
Selenium is highest in Brazil nuts and in fairly equal amounts in yellow fin tuna, oysters and clams.
Resveratrol can be found in varying amounts in wine, grapes, peanuts and peanut butter.
Vitamin C is water soluble and in varying amounts can be found in all fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin E is fat soluble and found in varying amounts can be found in all nuts, seeds, cooking oil, avocado, fish and cooked broccoli and Swiss chard.
In addition to including these foods into your daily diet, focus on reducing sodium as well. In an analysis of different dietary patterns and risk of developing cataract, diets high in sodium increased a persons’ risk for developing cataract. (3) One easy way to reduce sodium in your diet is to get your calorie needs met by increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Just one bite of the right food can be the beginning of a new perspective on eye health.
- National Data. (2015, September 30). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/data/national.htm
- Palmquist B, Phillipson B, Barr P. Nuclear cataract and myopia during hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Br J Ophthalmol1984;68:113-7.
- Sedaghat, F., Ghanavati, M., Nezhad Hajian, P., Hajishirazi, S., Ehteshami, M., & Rashidkhani, B. (2017). Nutrient patterns and risk of cataract: a case-control study. International Journal of Ophthalmology, 10(4), 586–592. http://doi.org/10.18240/ijo.2017.04.14