Best Foods for Cataract Prevention in 2018
Author: Kurt LaCapruccia, D.S.S. (Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science)
Published: October 17, 2018
Healthy eyes are the result of a healthy diet. Eye care begins with your sources of vitamins. Although the risk of cataracts is not very high until we are older, it is important to establish healthy dietary habits as soon as possible.
Can Foods Help Prevent Cataracts?
Cataracts are theorized to form from protein buildup. (1) While the theory is compelling, science has yet to validate the claim. (2) Another theory suggests oxidative stress and free radical damage as the cause of cataracts. (3) Heavy metals and pollutants are yet another postulated theory. These theories may have bearing in reality, but science has not validated a known cause of cataracts.
The best scientific explanation for the cause of Cataracts is free radical damage to the eye tissue. (4) Whether or not Free Radical damage is the source of protein buildup remains unverified, but this claim is the most widely accepted.
The truth about Cataracts is that their cause is unclear, but specific nutrients could help prevent or slow down cataract formation. These specific foods have been highlighted to raise awareness of the best foods for cataract prevention.
1. Vitamin C – “See the Difference”
Antioxidants are Free Radicals worst nightmare. If free radicals cause cataracts, then antioxidants would be the solution. The reason- Antioxidants reduce Free Radicals.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. New research suggests long term supplementation of Vitamin C could prevent nuclear cataracts and vision loss by 64%. (5) One study in addition showed daily intake of 500 mg of Vitamin C slowed macular degeneration by 25% and increased visual sharpness by 25%. (6)
Scientific studies recommend a dosage of 90 mg of Vitamin C per day and women intake 75 mg per day. Included are the Top 5 Food Sources to boost your levels of Vitamin C and “see the difference.”
Top 5 Foods Highest Sources of Vitamin C include:
- Guava– 377 mg of Vitamin C per cup (112 Calories)
- Strawberries– 98 mg of Vitamin C per cup (53 Calories)
- Oranges– 96 mg of Vitamin C per cup (85 Calories)
- Kale– 53 mg of Vitamin C per cup (36 Calories)
- Papaya– 88 mg of Vitamin C per cup (62 Calories)
Summary- Vitamin C is the staple of a healthy diet promoting optimal eye care and reducing risk of cataracts.
2. Beta Carotene/ Vitamin A
Beta Carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that could prevent protein buildup in the lens of the eye. (6) The body needs Beta Carotene to synthesize Vitamin A which new research shows could slow macular degeneration over a long period of supplementation. (7) Sweet Potatoes are Vitamin A superstars with 214 mg per cup! And don’t forget the popular choice of Carrots weighing in at 140 mg per cup.
When you are supplementing with Beta Carotene through a food or capsule source, recent studies recommend to always pair a fat with a vitamin. (8) The reason is because the vitamin needs to bind to a fat for the Beta Carotene to be absorbed into the blood stream.
The same can be said of any vitamin in food, capsule or liquid form. I recommend avocado, almonds, peanuts or olive oil as healthy fats to act as a natural binder. You can use a supplement binder such as the Quicksilver Ultra Binder to bind your vitamins if these fats are not right for you.
Scientific studies recommend adult men and women consume 30 mg of Beta Carotene per day.
Top 5 Foods Highest Sources of Vitamin A include:
- Sweet Potatoes– 214 mg per cup (180 Calories)
- Carrots– 140 mg per cup (55 Calories)
- Tuna– 143 mg in 6 oz Filet (313 Calories)
- Butternut Squash– 127 mg per cup (82 calories)
- Spinach– 105 mg per cup (41 calories)
Summary- Vitamin A could prevent buildup of protein in the lens of the eye.
3. Vitamin B3
New scientific research suggests that Niacin, also known as niacin or vitamin B3, is a nutrient that could help maintain eye health and reduce blood sugar. (9) Niacin deficiency has been shown in a study to be linked with cataract development and vision loss in older patients. (10) This study proves valuable as science suggests older people as the demographic at higher risk of cataract formation. (11) Adding foods high in Vitamin B3 could help reduce free radical damage and lower blood sugar.
Scientific studies recommend daily dosage of Vitamin B3 for men is 16 mg and 14mg per day for women. (11)
Top 5 Foods Highest Sources of Vitamin B3 include:
- Yellow Fin Tuna– 38 mg of Niacin in 6 oz fillet (221 Calories)
- Lean Chicken Breast– 16 mg of Niacin in 6 oz breast (267 Calories)
- Lean Pork Chops– 13 mg of Niacin in 6 oz chop (332 Calories)
- Beef (Skirt Steak)– 10 mg of Niacin in 6 oz steak (456 Calories)
- Portabella Mushrooms– 8 mg of Niacin per cup (35 Calories)
Summary- Niacin could aid in reducing blood sugar and prevent vision loss.
4. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are fat-soluable nutrients found within the retina and the lens of the eye. (12) Science suggests foods high in these nutrients provide stronger eye health support than diets which are deficient in these nutrients. Diets deficient in these nutrients could have higher risk of cataracts. One study showed a reduced need for cataract surgery in diets high Lutein and Zaxanthin. (13) An additional study found diets high in these eye-health nutrients as unlikely to develop new nuclear cataracts and have slower macular degeneration. (14)
Recommended daily dosage for men and women is 6 mg per day.
Top Foods Highest in Lutein and Zeaxanthin:
- Leafy Greens like Kale– 27 mg per cup (36 calories)
- Collard Greens– 15 mg per cup (134 calories)
- Spinach– 13 mg (36 calories)
- Turnips– 12 mg (49 calories)
- Yellow Corn– 3 mg (56 calories)
Summary- Lutein and Zeaxanthin are found in leafy greens and could lower risk of cataract formation.
As we age, the risk of cataracts increases. There exists no food especially tailored to prevent the risk of cataracts. The natural and safe precaution is to develop a personal healthy diet of leafy greens and nutrient dense sources of vitamins that naturally reduce macular degeneration. Your healthy diet is the best eye care program. These sources of vitamins serve as suggestions for you to consider when building your eye care healthy diet. Eye drops such as Vision Clarity Eye Drops could be incorporated to treat cataracts.
Here is the list of the Best Foods for the highest sources of nutrients that could help prevent cataracts:
- Vitamin C– Guava, Strawberries, Oranges, Kale, Papaya
- Vitamin A– Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Tuna, Butternut Squash, Spinach
- Vitamin B3– Yellow Fin Tuna, Lean Chicken Breast, Lean Pork Chops, Lean Steak, Portabella Mushrooms
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin– Kale and other Leafy Greens, Collard Greens, Spinach, Turnips, Yellow Corn
Thank you for taking the time to read Best Foods for Cataract Prevention in 2018.
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P.S.- At the end of the day, we are health-nerds here at DR Vitamin Solutions. We recommend you discover our Vision Clarity Eye Drops as high quality eye drops to compliment your eye care health diet!