If you're dealing with poor or worsening eye sight, you're in luck! There's been a $5.7 billion global bill introduced recently to help restore poor eyesight for the estimated 45 million people worldwide who are suffering the consequences of cataracts. However, some researchers in Australia recently concluded that the price of this bill could be slashed in half if these people increased their intake of colorful, antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits. These researchers published the first study of its kind to link a higher consumption of antioxidants to a lower risk of age-related cataracts.
The findings of the study overwhelmingly supported the benefits of eating colorful, antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits such as dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and peppers. The consumption of these foods has been shown to delay the onset of age-related cataracts.
Cataracts are no joke. They are the leading contributor of visual impairment among the elderly around the world. Cataracts are estimated to contribute to roughly 35% of all blindness among older individuals. They can be removed successfully with surgery the majority of the time. However, cataract removal surgery is likely going to cost $5.7 billion globally by the end of 2020.
Delaying the onset of cataracts even just by 10 years by educating people about the antioxidants in colorful vegetables and fruits could slash the cost of cataract treatment in half. Currently, the average global consumption of antioxidants is far below the recommended level to prevent age-related cataracts.
So what can we do? We can start by leading by example. Eat colorful, antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits. Educate your elderly relatives and your children on why these compounds are so important. Quit consuming excessive amounts of processed foods, and replace these foods with vegetables that are full of antioxidants.
The specific antioxidants that may help improve eyesight are lutein and zeaxanthin. They are extremely abundant in dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, arugula, and broccoli. They can also be found in citrus fruits, kiwis, and peppers. Carotenoids are another compound shown to improve eyesight. They are found in carrots, squash, citrus fruits, tomatoes and peppers. These antioxidants are best absorbed in your body when consumed with healthy fats. So don't skimp on the good fats if you're trying to increase your intake of antioxidants through your diet.
Here are a few colorful, antioxidant-rich recipes that I've rounded up for you to try: