By Dt. Shikha Mahajan
Holistic Nutritionist, Diet Podium
Cataracts induce more vision problems universally than any other eye disease, and the number of cataracts is increasing in the people aged above 40 years. Cataract is caused by the natural process of ageing, which results in the clouding of the lens of the eye. As it results in a progressive visual blur, and often, sensitivity to bright light. Sometimes, the patient may also experience coloured halos but there are interventions which can delay their progression. The lens inside the eye works like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina for clear vision. It also adjusts the eye’s focus, which let us see things clearly both close and far away. The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The proteins are arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and let’s light pass through it. But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens this is called cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see. A stable diet is one promising way to prevent or delay the evolution of cataracts.
A good heathy diet for cataract prevention includes:
- Salmon is unbelievably good for your eyes as it is dense in astaxanthin and carotenoid that gives salmon and lobster their reddish colour. Astaxanthin shields the eyes from free-radical damage and helps decelerate the formation of cataracts.
- Orange juice contains lenient amounts of vitamin C, and researches have suggested that vitamin C can reduce the risk of cataracts.
- Carrots are good for your eyes. One of the powerful nutrients in carrots is lutein, which is a major component of many yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.
- Egg yolks contain balanced amounts of both leutein and zeanxanthin, both of which protect against the sun’s harmful rays. They also contain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.
- Avocados are rich in nutrients. They contain lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E – all great allies in preventing cataracts.
- Broccoli is rich with both lutein and zeaxanthin, powerful nutrients that lower inflammation and prevent free radicals from damaging sight. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that protects eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.
- Walnuts contain antioxidants and vitamin E, which work to fight inflammation. Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids which are converted into sight-saving EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) as well as DHA.
- Bilberries are fruits that resemble and are closely related to blueberries and huckleberries. It contains anthocyanins that fight inflammation and keep the arteries and vessels that feed the eyes from narrowing.
- Green tea contains catachins, powerful antioxidant that protect eyes from glaucoma. The study, which was published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that the effects of a single cup of green tea last for up to 20 hours.
A good diet alone is not sufficient for preventing oneself from cataract but a person should also use shades for eyes so that it can help in preventing it from UV rays and regular check-ups are also needed.
It’s a very old saying that prevention is better than cure is as valid for cataract as for any other disease.