Colorful fruits and vegetables are the best source of antioxidants for women to lower the risk of cataracts as they age, according to a new Swedish study by the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet.
Coffee, tea, whole grains, red wine and many fruits and vegetables all contain high amounts of antioxidants, which may lower the risk of cataracts in women.
For the study, more than 30,000 Swedish women over age 49 were observed for about seven years for signs of developing cataracts and were given a dietary questionnaire.
The study found those with the highest total intake of antioxidants had about a 13 percent lower risk of developing cataracts than women with the lowest intake.
Instead of looking at single antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and plant flavonoids such as lycopene, the researchers used a measure of total antioxidant values in foods, which takes into account how the nutrients work together. Foods high in antioxidants include coffee, tea, oranges, whole grains and red wine.
Based on total antioxidant consumption, the researchers divided the women into five groups, ranging from the greatest antioxidant intake to the least. Among those who ate the most antioxidants, 745 cases of cataract were recorded, compared with 953 cases among women with the lowest antioxidant consumption. Women who ate more antioxidants also tended to be more educated and were less likely to smoke.
The findings are in line with previous research suggesting antioxidants may help protect against cataracts.
Millions of South African aged 40 years and older have cataracts, which may cause clouded vision and eventually blindness, in one or both eyes, so look after your eyes by eating a healthy diet this December
Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.
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