According to multiple studies over recent years, people who adopt a healthy diet may lower their risk of developing cataracts or slow the progression of cataracts, possibly reducing the need for cataract surgery.

People who seem to be less likely to develop cataracts follow a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Specifically, increasing your consumption of colorful fruit, dark green vegetables and whole grains may prevent cataracts because these foods provide:

  • Antioxidants
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Plant chemicals lutein and zeaxanthin

Additionally, consuming fish regularly may decrease your risk of developing cataracts. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A recent study from the University of Oxford found that people who consumed fish instead of other meat were less likely to have cataracts. Also, vegans and vegetarians in the study were 40 percent less likely to have cataracts than meat eaters in the study.

One study suggested that diets high in carbohydrates were more likely to lead to cataracts, and another study suggested the same for high-salt diets.

Of course, most studies do not provide definitive answers. Cataracts may also be prevented by protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light, which you can accomplish by wearing sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats. It is possible that people with healthy diets are more likely to practice other healthy habits, like protecting their eyes from the sun.

Before making any major changes to your diet to improve vision, you should consult an ophthalmologist, nutritionist or other qualified healthcare professional.

To learn more about cataracts in the Kansas City, Missouri area, please contact the experienced ophthalmologists at Silverstein Eye Centers to schedule a consultation.

Posted February 16, 2012 by Silverstein Eye Centers
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