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6 Food That Is Beneficial For Cataract Patients

By Dr. Shital Sharad Lalwani +2 more

A cataract can develop naturally with age or due to other risk factors (uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure). Your eyes’ lenses become opaque or cloudy due to deposits of certain fats and proteins over time. This leads to blurring of vision. Worldwide, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness. Even though there is currently no non-surgical cure for cataracts, studies have found that a healthy diet can help lower the risk of cataracts.  

First, Let’s understand what exactly a cataract is

Cataracts are dense, cloudy areas that form in the eye’s lens. Cataracts are caused by protein clumps that interfere with the formation of clear images. The light that enters the eye through the lens is converted into signals on the retina. The retina sends the signals to the optic nerve, which transmits them to the brain.

Cataracts develop gradually and eventually obstruct your vision. Cataracts can develop in both of your eyes, but they don’t usually develop at the same time. Older people are more likely to develop cataracts. 

What symptoms to look for to detect Cataracts?

Common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Sensitive to light and glare
  • Colours appear faded
  • Lights appear to have halos
  • Double vision in the affected eye
  • Need for a frequent change in lens or eyeglass prescriptions

It is important to understand what can cause Cataracts

About 40 years of age is when most people begin developing cataracts. The symptoms are most likely to appear after the age of 60. Cataracts are not usually present at birth.

However, there are certain underlying factors that can influence cataract development:

  • Oxidative damage
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged exposure to UV radiation
  • Long-term use of steroids and other medications
  • Diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Consuming alcohol in huge quantities 
  • Radiation therapy

Based on the studies I have read, green leafy vegetables contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants might help in reducing the onset of cataracts. Therefore, I would highly recommend eating dark green leafy vegetables like spinach might be useful in keeping away eye diseases like cataracts.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

What to eat and what to avoid?

Despite what may seem counterintuitive, eating your way to better healthy eyes is a reality, as nutrients in certain foods can help reduce the risks of eye disease and loss of sight. The benefits of eating carrots and leafy greens are well known, but numerous foods can improve the health of your eyes.

Just like foods that help keep your eyes healthy, other foods can make your cataract worse and have a negative impact on the overall health of your eyes as well as your body. 

So it is important to identify what food you must include in your diet and what you must avoid.

Foods that can help lower the risks of cataracts: 

1. Carrots

Almost everyone knows how good carrots are for the eyes. There are beta-carotenes in it, lutein and zeaxanthin, which the body converts into vitamin A. Carrots are good for your overall eye health and help keep eye problems at a minimum. 

2. Fruits and vegetables

Yellow, red and orange pigments are produced by carotenoids in colourful fruits and vegetables. Usually, these foods are eaten raw, but for the best health benefits, they should be boiled or baked first. Cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkins contain carotenoids such as beta carotene and vitamin A, which are good for your eyes.

3. Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can reduce one’s risk of cataracts because they have been linked with lowering one’s risk of eye disease. You should consume two servings of cold-water fish every week, such as tuna, salmon and sardines. You can take fish oil supplements if you are not a fan of fish.

4. Seeds and Nuts:

The antioxidant vitamin E found in nuts and seeds protects the membranes of eye cells against free radical damage. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts and sunflower seeds can help improve eye health.

5. Whole grains

The chances of developing cataracts are lower in people who consume more whole grains. Reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration is another benefit of whole grains. Include whole-grain foods such as quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, whole grain pasta and bread in your diet. 

6. Citrus Fruits:

The vitamin C in oranges and other citrus fruits (guava, amla etc.) helps maintain healthy blood vessels. Being a natural antioxidant, vitamin C is beneficial to the body for fighting off degenerative and inflammatory eye diseases.

Among all Indian spices, turmeric is quite beneficial against various eye-related diseases. According to some studies, turmeric (curcumin) might have protective effects against cataract development due to the presence of vitamin C which has antioxidant effects.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Foods that you must avoid: 

1. Processed Meats:

Salted foods such as hot dogs, bacon and deli meat are high in unhealthy fats and sodium. High sodium levels can eventually result in high blood pressure (hypertension), resulting in numerous eye conditions. 

2. Ready-to-Eat Foods

Prepackaged foods, such as soup, tomato sauce and canned goods, often have high sodium levels, as much as 75% of the recommended daily intake. It is recommended that you avoid eating these foods as they may cause high blood pressure and eye-related problems. Look for salt-free or low sodium versions of your favourite foods at the store.

3. Soft Drinks

The sugar content of soda, sports and energy drinks and other sweetened drinks can range from seven to ten teaspoons. The added sugar increases your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Further, diabetes can cause eye-related conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.

4. Alcohol

It is believed that the consumption of alcoholic beverages, although not food, contributes to the development of eye conditions. In excess drinking, you can develop cataracts at a younger age.

5. Margarine

margarine contains trans fats, which can cause heart disease and eye problems. Margarine with solid consistency contains more trans fats. Use spread instead of solid margarine. You can also choose healthier alternatives that have zero grams of trans fat on the label.

Other beneficial tips to keep your eyes healthy:

  • Avoid smoking and drinking
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Wear sun sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun
  • Get regular eye checkups done. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight and avoid getting diabetes
  • Avoid looking at the screen too much


There are many ways to reduce your risk of getting cataracts, but research remains unclear if they can be prevented at 100%. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is the simplest way to take care of your eyes.

The easiest method to eat your way to good eye health is at the produce aisle. If you pick fruits or vegetables of vibrant or deep colour, they will contain an abundance of nutrients, including vitamin A and C. 

The above-mentioned food items are essential for maintaining healthy eyes because nutrition and the health of your eyes go hand in hand. Poor diet and unhealthy junk food can cause damage to your eyes. Healthy eating is vital to reducing eye conditions like cataracts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 What foods may dissolve cataracts?

Foods cannot dissolve cataracts. You need to consult a doctor and follow the treatment advised. 

 What causes cataracts to form quickly?

Typically, the fastest-growing cataracts are those caused by trauma. Radiation-related cataracts are sometimes identified under trauma-related cataracts and are caused by radiation exposure. Those exposed to high radiation levels can experience clouded vision within two years of exposure.

How can I stop my cataract from getting worse?

6 ways to keep cataracts from getting worse:
> Have regular eye checkups.
> Keep your blood sugars in check if you have diabetes. 
> Quit smoking.
> Reduce your alcohol consumption. 
> Eat fruit and vegetable-rich diet.
> Wear sunglasses.

Which Vitamins are good for cataracts?

According to doctors, foods such as carrots and citrus fruits are high in antioxidants like vitamin A, C and E which are good for keeping your eyes healthy and slowing the development of cataracts.

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.



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