A new Swedish study shows women who eat foods rich in antioxidants may have a lower risk of cataracts as they age.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye that affects vision. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide and according to the National Eye Institute, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or have cataract surgery by age 80.
For seven years, the diets of 30,000 women over the age of 49 were tracked. Those with the highest intake of antioxidants had about a 13% lower risk of developing cataracts than women who consumed the least. The results of the study are consistent with previous research; however, this is an observational study and women who choose healthier diets may also differ in other important ways, like smoking habits and body weight.
Foods that are high in antioxidants include whole grains, coffee, tea, oranges and red wine. To determine if you have cataracts, schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam from your ophthalmologist.