Preventing cataracts : Its a Food Fight

Preventing cataractsCataract is a vision impairing cloudiness in the eyes lens. Cataracts are common in older adults nearly half of those over 75 have them and millions of operation is performed each year to replace the clouded lens with an artificial one. But the condition can be prevented before it reaches that point. The latest research on cataracts suggests three ways in which women in their fifties may reduce their risk:

  • Take a supplement of a least 362 mg of vitamin C every day.

  • Eat plenty of brightly colored fruits and vegetables rich in the plants chemicals known as carotenoids.

  • Dont smoke.


Carotenoids prevent the less common but especially troublesome posterior sub scapular type of cataract. These cataracts affect vision more than other types because the opacity (cloudiness) is located further back in the lens. Women who eat a diet rich in carotenoids are less likely to suffer form this type of cataract- as long as they are non- smokers. Smoking and diabetes are the two biggest risk factors for cataracts.


Preventing cataractsVitamin C, carotenoids and folate (a B vitamin also shown to reduce cataract risk) have something in common. Theyre all antioxidants meaning that they reduce the damage that occurs as a result of normal chemical reactions in the bodys cells. Such oxidative damage may contribute to cataracts. Vitamin C also seems to retard the clumping of protein in the lens that creates the opacity.

In a separate study carried out in Baltimore, USA, researches found that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) offers women some protection against developing nuclear and posterior sub scapular cataracts.




Protective vegetables and fruits

Carotenoids are plant compounds that help to safeguard your precious vision. You can get you fill of these protective nutrients by eating plenty of these colorful fruits and vegetables, like


  • Tomatoes

  • Red peppers


  • Carrots

  • Pumpkin

  • Butternut squash

  • Sweet potatoes



  • Spinach

  • Watercress

  • Kale

  • Spring greens

  • Broccoli.


  • Mango

  • Papaya

  • Cantaloupe



Dated 11 May 2012

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