Sally Errey, RNCP
Cataracts lead to blurred and reduced vision due to a cloudiness occurring in the lens of the eye
Cataracts lead to blurred and reduced vision due to a cloudiness occurring in the lens of the eye. Common in the elderly and a leading factor in visual disability in North America, cataracts may be less common among those who eat higher than average quantities of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. A 10-year study featured in the Journal of Nutrition in 2004 highlights that women who consumed six to 11 servings of whole grains, two to four servings of fruit, and three to five servings of vegetables each day were less likely to have cataracts than those women consuming lesser quantities of these foods. A plate of pasta is equivalent to three to four servings of whole grains; an apple counts as two servings of fruit. The design of the study indicated that multiple aspects of an overall healthy eating pattern, rather than a specific food group, seemed to have the most protective effect. Women with higher intakes showed a modest 10 to 15 percent reduced risk of cataracts. Nutrients that have been shown to diminish the potential for cataract development include beta carotene, bilberry, lutein, and vitamin C from both food and supplements. For better vision, choose green leafy vegetables, richly coloured fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals (such as oatmeal) as regular components of your diet.