How to Reverse Cataracts With Nutrition

The lens of your eye is normally clear, allowing you to see without obstruction. A cataract is a clouding in the lens that hampers your vision. Cataracts can affect a small portion or a larger area of your eye, and are most often related to age, according to the National Eye Institute. Severe cataracts must be removed to preserve your sight, but early signs of the condition may be reversed or improved with nutrition.

Close-up of eye. (Image: aetb/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Eat foods that are high in vitamin C. The American Optometric Association--AOA--reports that the antioxidant qualities of vitamin C may be able to slow or reverse the progression of cataracts. Men should try to consume at least 90mg of vitamin C daily, and women require 75mg. Smokers may need an additional 35 mg on top of these base requirements. Foods that contain vitamin C include broccoli, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, papaya and green peppers.

Step 2

Go "green" nutritionally to reduce your risk of cataracts, and perhaps to stop existing cataracts from worsening. Green vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens and romaine lettuce, are high in nutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin. According to The World's Healthiest Foods, lutein and zeaxanthin promote eye health, and may prevent macular degeneration as well as cataracts. Broccoli, zucchini and Brussels sprouts also contain these nutrients.

Step 3

Boost your levels of carotenoids, the nutrient that gives fruits and vegetables an orange or red hue. Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston reports that consuming beta carotene, a type of carotenoid, leads to a lower incidence of cataracts and can be beneficial to eye health. Carrots, squash, peaches, tomatoes and other orange vegetables and fruits provide you with carotenoids.

Step 4

Ask your doctor about taking vitamin supplements if you have an early-stage cataract. Getting high enough levels of antioxidant vitamins C, E and A to make a difference in your eye health may be difficult through diet alone. Supplements in addition to a healthy diet might be able to turn around your eye health.

Tip

Limit your alcohol consumption to 1 to 2 drinks per day if you are at risk for eye diseases. The National Eye Institute explains that your risk of developing cataracts may increase with heavier alcohol use.

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