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9 Foods That Fight Cataracts

9 Foods That Fight Cataracts
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By    |   Thursday, 17 September 2015 04:28 PM

Cataracts, which are a clouding of the clear lens part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina, are a common cause of blindness, especially in older people. Removing cataracts is the most common elective operation for adults, and by the age of 80, more than half of Americans have cataracts or have had cataract surgery.

While sunlight is the major source of the lens damage that causes cataracts, there is growing evidence that poor overall nutrition and chronic inflammation in other parts of the body damage the eyes, according to neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock. "This explains why diabetics have such a high incidence of cataracts, and it also clarifies the strong link between cataracts and cardiovascular disease," he tells Newsmax Health.

A healthy diet which includes these nine foods will lower your risk of cataracts:

• Salmon. Salmon is rich in astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives salmon and lobster their reddish color. "Astaxanthin protects the eyes from free-radical damage and helps retard the formation of cataracts," Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of the best-selling The No-Grain Diet, tells Newsmax Health.

Salmon also has generous amounts of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the main omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon. One study found that women who ate fish three times a week reduced their risk of cataracts by 11 percent when compared to women who only ate fish once a month.

• Orange juice. Orange juice contains liberal amounts of vitamin C, and studies have suggested that vitamin C can reduce the risk of cataracts.

A study by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University found that nerve cells in the eye need vitamin C in order to function properly.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that high levels of vitamin C reduced the risk of cataracts by 64 percent.

• Green tea. Researchers from the University of Scranton found that tea, both black and green, reduced glucose levels in the eye lens of rats and cut their risk of cataracts in half.

In addition, Chinese researchers found that catachins, powerful antioxidants found in green tea, 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.

• Walnuts. Walnuts contain antioxidants and vitamin E, which work to fight inflammation. Walnuts also help to lower a specific protein called C-reactive protein that's a measure of inflammation in the body.

Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids which are converted into sight-saving EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) as well as DHA.

• Bilberries. Bilberries are a fruit that resemble and are closely related to blueberries and huckleberries. Bilberries, blueberries, and blackberries contain anthocyanins, the chemicals that give the berries their dark purple color. Anthocyanins fight inflammation and keep the arteries and vessels that feed the eyes from narrowing.

A Russian study found that bilberry extract completely prevented cataracts in rats genetically modified to have a 70 percent risk of developing them. A dose of 160 mg daily is recommended.

• Carrots. The old wives tale is true: 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.

Lutein, along with another carotenoid called zeaxanthin, helps absorb the harmful ultraviolet blue light found in sunlight.

• Eggs. Egg yolks contain generous 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. Avocados are dense in nutrients. They contain lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E — all great allies in preventing cataracts.

• Broccoli. Broccoli is loaded 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.

You can also lower your risk of cataracts by limiting your intake of carbohydrates. An Australian study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that people who ate the most carbohydrates had three times the risk of cataracts than those who ate the fewest.

Another reason to prevent cataracts is to lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, another vision-robbing condition that is associated with aging.

"Studies show that those who have had lens replacement to combat cataracts are actually increasing their risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by 3.8 times," says Dr. Blaylock.

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Cataracts, which are a clouding of the clear lens part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina, are a common cause of blindness, especially in older people. Removing cataracts is the most common elective operation for adults, and by the age of 80, more than half of...
foods, fight, cataracts, nutrition, salmon, tea
Thursday, 17 September 2015 04:28 PM
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