A study finds a vitamin C-rich diet may help your chances to avoid cataracts as you age.
After the age of 40, your risk of developing cataracts begins to climb. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens that impairs vision, and quite literally looks like there’s a cloud covering your eye. The causes vary widely from age, smoking tobacco, radiation, or simple genetics.
The study also found that taking vitamin C pills won’t cut the risk. Supplements did not wield the same effect. Only foods naturally high in the antioxidant vitamin, including citrus fruits and dark green vegetables, seemed to protect against cataracts.
“While cataracts cannot be completely hindered from developing, this high vitamin C-rich diet may be able to delay the onset and keep them from worsening significantly,” Christoper Hammond, M.D., lead author of the study, found.
Why Vitamin C?
The fluid that bathes the lens is high in vitamin C, which helps stop the lens from oxidizing and protects it from becoming cloudy. The belief is that increased intake of vitamin C helps protect cataracts from forming by keeping the fluid rich in vitamin C.
It’s important to remember that this study only found an association between vitamin C and delaying the onset of cataracts and keep them from becoming worse; no causal effect was proven.
Adding these Vitamin C rich foods to your diet could make a difference:
- Red bell pepper, ½ cup: 95 mg.
- Orange juice, ¾ cup: 93 mg.
- Kiwifruit, 1 medium: 64 mg.
- Green bell pepper, ½ cup: 60 mg.
- Strawberries, fresh, ½ cup: 49 mg.
- Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup: 51 mg.
- Kale, raw, ½ cup: 40 mg.
- Broccoli, raw, ½ cup: 39 mg.
- Cantaloupe, ½ cup: 29 mg.
Medicare covers cataract treatment and surgery, but not annual routine eye exams. To find out which plans have benefits to cover your overall eye health, contact SeniorChoices NW in Wilsonville, Oregon for all of your health insurance needs.