Cataracts: How Your Diet Plays a Role

Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 10:06 AM

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Medical evidence suggests that those who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit or fruit juice per day, or less than two servings of vegetables or vegetable juice a day, are three and a half times more likely to have cataracts.

People who follow a diet that contains foods rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, seem to have a lower risk of developing cataracts. A diet plan for someone with cataracts must include carotenoids found in red, yellow, and orange pigments of plants. Beta carotene accounts for about 20 percent of the total carotenoids in the diet.
Carotenoids are abundant in dark-green leafy vegetables, in orange and red fruits, and in tomatoes, peaches, squashes, and carrots. All these naturally grown foods are a part of the diet plan to prevent cataracts. A few foods must be excluded, however; patients with cataracts are advised to cut down on their intake of refined sugars, or eliminate them altogether from their meals. This applies to white sugar, fructose, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, maltose, dextrose, glucose, and other refined carbohydrates. Natural drinks, including most fruit juices, contain a lot of sugar. Even milk, sugar, and lactose found in dairy products can contribute to cataract formation by decreasing the levels of glutathione and vitamin C in the eye's lens.
 
Apart from all the above-mentioned biological components and foods, the best diet to prevent cataracts also includes water. It is highly recommended that you drink at least eight glasses of water per day. The water should preferably be filtered or purified. Excess consumption of water is also not good; it means more work for the kidneys.
 
Antioxidants help combat free radicals that are largely responsible for the formation of cataracts. A good diet plan for cataracts, containing antioxidant vitamins and mineral supplements, can help prevent oxidation. Some foods have extremely high quantities of antioxidants: garlic, onion, beans, celery, seaweed, apples, carrots, tomatoes, turnip, and oranges.
 
Dairy products are a big no-no in a cataract diet; they can exacerbate eye problems by causing sinus congestion that impairs lymph and blood drainage, resulting in inefficient flow of the toxins and metabolic waste out of the eye.

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