As you get older, your eyes undergo certain changes. Some of these result in the development of age-related vision conditions, such as cataracts. While cataract surgery can be performed to restore clear vision, there are also certain steps you can take on a daily basis to reduce your risk of this condition.
One of the easiest things you can do is eat a healthy diet. Several studies have found that eating a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins that promote eye health can reduce your risk of cataracts or stem the progression of the condition.
Link between Oxidative Stress and Cataracts
Oxidative stress occurs when your body lacks a sufficient quantity of antioxidants to combat the harmful free radicals in your body. This oxidative stress damages the fats and proteins in your eye’s lens, causing the lens to become cloudy. This clouding of your eye’s lens is what we know as a cataract.
Free radicals in your body may develop due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Eating unhealthy foods
- Exposure to pollution or certain chemicals
- Ultraviolet radiation
Since an unhealthy diet is one of the primary causes of free radicals in your body, it’s crucial that your diet contain the nutrients and antioxidants necessary to combat them.
Foods that May Help Reduce Your Risk of Cataracts
Incorporating the following items into your diet can provide the nutrients you need to promote good eye health and combat harmful free radicals:
- 5-9 servings of colorful fruits and dark green vegetables per day
- 3 servings of 100% whole grains per day
- 2 servings of fish per week
Dark green vegetables and colorful fruits will provide you with an abundant source of antioxidants that will keep your eyes healthy. These items also contain folic acid and calcium, two nutrients that have been found to reduce the risk of cataracts. Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduction in the risk of cataracts.
While eating a healthy diet is the best way to provide your body with these important nutrients, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with a multivitamin each day. This will ensure you are getting the nutrients you need, even if your diet doesn’t contain the necessary amounts of the foods listed above.
Foods to Avoid
Just as certain foods will help combat free radicals and promote healthy eyes, other foods may actually increase your risk of cataracts and other health issues. You should avoid:
- Fried foods
- Processed foods
- Sugary snacks
- Soft drinks
- Foods with high sodium content
Giving up these comfort foods isn’t always easy to do. However, it is an important way to ensure your eyes stay healthy as you get older. By making some slight alterations to your diet, you can potentially reduce your risk of cataracts as well as a variety of other harmful health conditions.
Contact our Loveland Cataract Surgeon
If you’ve begun experiencing symptoms of cataracts, Kirk Eye Center can help. Dr. Kirk has more than 25 years of experience performing cataract surgery procedures. He will evaluate your eyes in order to recommend the best treatment plan for your unique needs.
Please contact Kirk Eye Center using the from on this page or call 970-669-1107 today to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Loveland, Fort Collins and throughout Northern Colorado.