Cataracts are a leading cause of visual impairment among aging Americans and Cataracts removal is the most common surgical procedure performed in the U.S.  Several research studies show that specific nutrients may protect against the development and progression of cataracts. 

Cataract Eye Friendly Nuitrient Studies:

  • Several research studies show that the antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E may protect against the development and progression of cataracts.
  • Early evidence also suggests that the carotenoid lutein, which is also an antioxidant, may help protect against cataracts.
  • Studies have indicated adding vitamin E to the diet can delay cataract formation. A recent study demonstrated that higher dietary intakes of lutein along with vitamin E significantly decreased the risk of cataracts.

Cataract Eye Friendly Nutrients:

Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients, such as lutein, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc, to reduce the risk of certain eye diseases.

  • Lutein: Many studies show that lutein reduces the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Vitamin C: Scientific evidence suggests vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts. Also, when taken in combination with other essential nutrients, it can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.
  • Vitamin E: Research indicates it protects cells in the eyes from unstable molecules called free radicals, which break down healthy tissue.
  • Vitamin D: A recent study presents evidence that vitamin D may protect against the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Research shows omega-3 fatty acids are important for proper visual development and retinal function. Additionally, low levels of DHA and EPA have been associated with diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinopathy of prematurity.
  • Zinc: Zinc plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, mostly in the retina and choroid, the vascular tissue layer lying under the retina.

Cataract Eye Friendly Food Equivalents:

Given the positive association between nutrition and eye health, it’s probably a good idea to incorporate these eye friendly nutrients in your daily diet. Consider the following food/supplement sources.


Yellow Corn10 cups=6mg
Green Peas2.7 cups=6mg
Broccoli4 cups=6mg
Vision Guard – OneLifeUSA Supplement1 capsule=10mg
*RDA: Not established. Generally accepted target.—- Average Person’s Daily Intake is 72% below target.

Vitamin C:

Papaya1/2 Medium=94mg
Orange1 Medium=80mg
Tomato Juice2 cups=88mg
Advanced AntiOxidant – OneLifeUSA Supplement1 capsule=300 mg
*RDA: 70mg-90mg— % of People Getting Less Than RDA = 50%.

Vitmin E:

Almonds1/2 cup=18.6mg
Sunflower Seeds3/4 cup=17.4mg
Peanut Butter10 tbsp=16mg
Advanced AntiOxidant – OneLifeUSA Supplement1 capsule=11.3 mg
*RDA: 15mg— % of People Getting Less Than RDA = 90%.

Vitamin D:

Farmed Rainbow Trout3.25 oz=15mcg
Egg (scrambled)14 eggs=15.4mcg
Cheddar Cheese50 oz=15mcg
Vitamin D3 + K2 – Brabec Basics Supplement1 capsule=50 mcg
*RDA:19-70 years -15mcg (600IU), 71+ years – 20mcg (800IU)— % of People Getting Less Than RDA = 70%.

Beta Carotene:

Baked Sweet Potatoes1/2 cup=11.5mg
Cooked Carrots1 cup=13mg
Cooked Spinach1 cup=11.3mg
Vision Guard – OneLifeUSA Supplement1 capsule=37.5mg
*RDA: Not established. Generally accepted target.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

1100mg – 1600mg = DAILY TARGET INTAKE*
Salmon2 oz=1291mg
Flaxseed Oil2 tbsp=1452mg
Walnut Halves14=1440mg
Something Smells Fishy – OneLifeUSA Supplement1 capsule=1000mg
*AI**: 19-51+ years – Male: 1.6 g (1600 mg), Female: 1.1 g (1100 mg)- % of People Getting Less Than RDA = 70%.


8mcg – 11mg = DAILY TARGET INTAKE*
Lobster9 oz=10.2mg
Chickpeas4 cups=10.4mg
Swiss Cheese9 oz=10.8mg
Zinc Lozenge – OneLifeUSA Supplement1 lozenge=10mg
*RDA: Male: 11mg, Female: 8mg

*Information published by:

The American Optometric Association,layer%20lying%20under%20the%20retina

National Institutes of Health – National Library of Medicine

Medical News Today

Mayo Clinic News Network

** Adequate Intake (AI): Intake at this level is assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy; established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA.

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