Moms have been telling their children to eat their fruits and vegetables for decades. Depending on the decade, mom might not have known why they were good for us, but now we know she was right… again!
It seems eating lots of fruits and vegetables is one way we can slow the development of cataracts.
Cataracts occur as we age, and in fact, cataract surgery is the most performed procedure in the US. A buildup of protein causes our eye lens to get cloudy, limiting vision. Normal activities become more difficult or impossible. Trouble driving, reading signs, blurred vision, distinguishing colours and glare are all common symptoms of a cataract.
Today we know there are ways to reduce the risk of cataracts and slow down their development.
We hear this all the time, but what exactly does that mean?
For starters it means do what mom said.
- Eat lots of leafy green and colourful vegetables high in antioxidants. Red, green and orange peppers are great choices. Add in asparagus, broccoli, spinach and don’t forget carrots.
- Include colourful fruits like berries, cantaloupe and oranges into your daily diet. They contain vitamins and nutrients to promote healthy eyes and reduce the risk of cataracts. Five to nine servings a day of fruits and vegetable are recommended.
- Whole grains and cold water fish like salmon are all eye healthy choices.
- Reduce or eliminate fried and processed foods from your diet.
- Cut out sugary snacks and drinks.
- Reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your daily diet. Studies have shown that those who eat a high percentage of carbs are three times more likely to develop cataracts.
- Reduce sodium.
Follow these guidelines not only to slow down the development of cataracts, but to improve your health overall.
Protect Your Eyes From The Sun
Protecting your eyes is important both in summer and winter. The winter sun can be just as damaging as during the summertime. Always wear sunglasses and consider wearing a hat with a brim. This applies for both men and women.
This is another “no brainer” to improve overall health.
Until scientists come up with a pill or other futuristic treatment so we never develop cataracts, use these guidelines to slow down your need for cataract surgery.
If you think you might have cataracts,
contact the eye specialists at South Texas Eye Institute.