Can Antioxidant-Rich Foods Lower the Risk of Cataracts?

by Feb 4, 2021

Foods rich in antioxidants are known to help lower the risk of many diseases, including those related to eye health. In today’s post, Perception Eyecare + Eyewear shares how adding antioxidant-rich food in your diet can help reduce the risk of cataracts. 

Can Antioxidant-Rich Foods Lower the Risk of Cataracts?

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation, a process that produces free radicals and related chain reactions that result in damage to cells. High levels of free radicals in the body have been linked to multiple types of illnesses, including heart disease. The human body naturally produces antioxidants that help keep free radicals in check, and this can be supplemented by those found in food. Vitamins such as vitamins C and E are known as effective antioxidants.

It’s important to note that free radicals are needed by the human body. Certain functions such as the immune system use free radicals to fight infections. Antioxidants help maintain the level of free radicals in the body, not eliminate it. As described above, too many free radicals can result in illnesses; too many antioxidants can increase the risk of cancer.

Antioxidants and Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye, which results in vision that has been described as like seeing through a fogged-up window. It can be caused by many things and some types are hereditary, and there is currently no known way to prevent it or slow it down once it has begun. However, studies have shown that the risk of oxidative damage to the eye lenses (which ultimately result in cataracts) can be lowered with an antioxidant-rich diet.

The following are some of the key vitamins and nutrients, and the types of food rich in them:

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are nutrients that can help reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases. Dark green leafy vegetables, as well as fruits and vegetables like broccoli, persimmons, and tangerines, are rich in both nutrients.
  • Ascorbic acid or vitamin C helps reduce the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Tomatoes, strawberries, and citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit are rich in vitamin C.
  • Vitamin E is one of the most well-known antioxidants, and is found in vegetable oils, nuts, and wheat germ.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids help improve retinal function and visual development for young children. Tuna, salmon, and other cold-water fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Perception Eyecare + Eyewear is your leading provider of eye care services. Give us a call at [company_phone]. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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