For most of us, diminished eyesight is an unfortunate part of aging. The eyes require a little more TLC after the age of 40. So how far would you go to protect your eyesight?
Researchers at the University of Oxford in the U.K. are suggesting that being vegetarian could significantly lower your risk for getting cataracts.
This latest health news comes on the heels of other studies that have hinted that, as far as the eyes are concerned, eating a diet of beans, tofu and other vegetarian fare is the best way to preserve clear vision. The British researchers built on this mounting evidence and investigated the association between diet and cataract risk in a population that has a wide range of diets and includes a high proportion of vegetarians.
After analyzing data, the research team found that there was a strong relation between cataract risk and diet group. There was a decreased risk of cataract all the way through the diet spectrum: frequent meat eaters had the greatest risk, those who ate less meat were next, followed by fish eaters (who ate no meat). Vegetarians ended up at the opposite end of the scale, with a low risk of developing cataracts, followed by vegans who showed the lowest risk of all the food diets. The research team concluded that vegetarians are at lower risk of cataracts than meat eaters in the study group of health-conscious British residents.
This health e-letter isn’t going to suggest that you immediately change your diet if you’re a meat eater. However, you may want to consider this health advice: lower your consumption of meat if you’re an older adult. Adding more legumes and alternate sources of protein to your diet may offer health benefits not only to your vision, but to the health of your heart and digestive system as well. Try eating three or four vegetarian meals a week and see what impact it has on the way you feel emotionally and physically. Meat can still be a great source of B-vitamins, which are key to many important functions in your body — but try to consume this food group in moderation and go for the lean cuts.
For more benefits of a vegetarian diet, read the article Why Vegetarians Are Less Prone to Diabetes, Heart Problems.