Cataracts, which are quite prevalent, are a leading cause of vision loss. They occur due to damage to the proteins found in the lens of the eye. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing cataracts, such as family history, age, and sunlight exposure. However, researchers have discovered that nutrition also plays a critical role in the prevention of cataracts . At your next ophthalmologist appointment, you can talk to the doctor about including the following nutrients in your diet to help prevent cataracts.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that your eyes need for healthy vision. Studies have shown that including plenty of these carotenoids in your diet may offer some protection against cataracts. In fact, according to the American Optometric Association , the Nurses’ Health Study demonstrated a link between decreased cataract development and an intake of six milligrams of these nutrients daily. You can talk to your ophthalmologist about taking lutein and zeaxanthin in a supplement, or you might prefer to include more food sources of these carotenoids in your diet. Some great food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are kale, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, and broccoli.
In addition to getting more lutein and zeaxanthin in your diet, you might consider including more sources of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E. Research has demonstrated an association between a delayed progression of cataract development and the consumption of these nutrients. They may also help prevent cataracts from forming in the first place. You could take a vitamin pill or consume foods that contain these antioxidants, such as papaya, cantaloupe, and kiwi for vitamin C, and almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds for vitamin E.
Although following a healthy diet will help reduce your risk of cataracts, they can occur due to factors beyond your control. Dr. Mark Hornfeld offers advanced treatment for cataracts, including intraocular lens implants (IOLs) to restore your vision. Call our NYC ophthalmology practice at (646) 502-4142 to schedule an appointment today.