One of the leading causes behind blindness across the country are age-related cataracts. While a portion of your risk is seeded in your genetics, a large percentage of your cataract risk can be traced to your diet. Studies show that a diet high in lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamins A,C and E can significantly lower your risk of developing cataracts.
All of these nutrients are vital to your overall health, but lutein and zeaxanthin are especially great for your vision. They are found naturally in your eye, and lutein gives the lens of your eye that tint of yellow. It’s interesting that taking supplements to make up for the lack of these vitamins and minerals does not reduce your risk. You need to consistently consume foods high in these nutrients if you want to prevent cataracts.
Speak with our Sacramento cataract surgeon about your vision to see which foods will benefit your eyes the most. These five foods are just a few of many that may help you avoid cataracts:
Many dieticians and Hollywood stars swear by this superfood, and they aren’t wrong. Kale has lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamins A and E, which means it contains nearly all of the nutrients required for healthy eyes.
Broccoli is great for the body in many ways, but it’s also that vegetable you most likely hated as a child and may have difficulty eating to this day. Some say you can soak up more of the nutrients found in broccoli by eating it raw, but others say it’s best to cook it. Either way, if you’re eating broccoli, you’re consuming a good amount of vitamins C and E among other vital minerals.
Your mind probably goes straight to oranges and other citrus fruits when you think of vitamin C. While those fruits are still a good source of nutrition, kiwi actually contains nearly twice the amount of vitamin C found in an orange. Kiwi also has vitamin E, serotonin, magnesium and potassium.
It’s a well-known fact that fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, but fish also contain vitamins A and E. Try to eat salmon or mackerel at least twice a week to avoid an omega-3 deficiency. If you can’t stand the taste or smell of fish, you can opt for walnuts, chia seeds or ground flaxseeds.
Eggs aren’t only an essential part of breakfast. They’re great for your eyes too. Eggs contain lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3, vitamin E and a handful of other important nutrients. Whether you’re eating the entire egg or just the yolk, your eyes will thank you in ten or even 20 years.
Honorable Mention: Coffee
Coffee has a bad reputation for several reasons, but this is one instance where that morning cup can do more than brighten your day.
If you’re at risk of developing cataracts or have cataracts, call Dr. Wilmarth in Sacramento today to schedule your eye exam. Wilmarth Eye and Laser Center serves patients in the Greater Sacramento Area, Roseville, Rocklin and Folsom, California.