New research suggests you may need to look to citrus fruits and other foods rich in vitamin C to maintain good eye health. This is because nutrients from your diet, especially vitamin C, may play an important role in protecting against cataracts, as stressed by a recent study from researchers at King’s College London.
Cataracts can prevent individuals from seeing things around them clearly. This can affect even the simplest tasks of daily life, such as reading, driving, watching television and making meals. If you have cataracts, the progression can start as early as your 40s, but it’s often not until after age 60 when you will actually notice their impact on your vision.
The researchers found that consuming foods with vitamin C seems to protect against cataract progression. This is because all of the cells in your body actually depend on vitamin C for healthy growth and repair. Vitamin C also supports the health of blood vessels in the eye.
“While we cannot totally avoid developing cataracts, we may be able to delay their onset and keep them from worsening significantly by eating a diet rich in vitamin C,” said Christopher Hammond, MD, professor of ophthalmology at King’s College London and the study’s author.
It is recommended that men get at least 90 mg of vitamin C and women get at least 75 mg daily. Our bodies don’t create all of the vitamin C we need, making it important to get vitamin C through diet, nutritional supplements, or fortified foods and beverages to maintain good eye health. Before taking supplements, make sure to always consult a health care professional.
With summer approaching, you can stay hydrated and boost your vitamin C levels by squeezing fresh fruits like oranges and grapefruit to make your own 100-percent fruit juice! You might also try eating a few more servings of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, such as kiwifruit, apricots, tomatoes and spinach, each day. Visit fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/vitamin-c-in-fruits-and-vegetables to view more food sources of vitamin C.
“Do You Need More Vitamin C to See,” Joan Blake, huffingtonpost.com, April 20, 2016.
“Vitamin C,” American Optometric Association, aoa.org, accessed May 4, 2016.