A cataract is a clouding in the lens of the eye, making it difficult to see as it prevents light from entering. If the cataract is not removed, it can cause blindness. Cataracts are common in non-diabetics with aging, but they tend to form in diabetics earlier in life and their development is often accelerated due to poor blood sugar control.
Cataracts cause loss of vision insidiously. At first, slight loss of vision can be compensated for with the use of bright light and reading glasses. Later surgery often becomes necessary. The procedure has a high rate of success, but preventing the condition is clearly preferable.
Antioxidants are molecules found to a high degree in many fruits and vegetables. They clean up free radicals: molecules that can damage the body and cause premature aging.
Researchers at the University of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo looked at antioxidant-rich foods in the diet of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It was an attempt to determine whether those foods could have a protective effect against cataracts.
This study was published in June 2012 in the International Journal of General Medicine, and included 244 adults with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. The diabetics who ate red beans and those who ate at least three servings per day of antioxidant-rich vegetables, had a lower risk of developing cataracts than those who did not eat red beans or vegetables high in antioxidants.
Foods To Prevent Cataracts
It was then concluded eating vegetables rich in oxidants… and red beans, should be encouraged.
Red beans have slightly more antioxidants per serving size than wild blueberries. Other vegetables high in antioxidants include:
red kidney beans,
black beans, and
Fruits high in antioxidants include:
blueberries and cranberries,
blackberries and raspberries,
plums, and apples.
Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts are also good sources, as well as cloves, cinnamon, and oregano.
Beans: Make a three bean salad with red beans, green beans, and garbanzo beans. Flavor your beans with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and oregano. Let the salad sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours before eating, so the beans can absorb the flavors.
Red beans also go well with rice: as in Cajun and West Indian recipes. The website VegetarianAbout suggests a recipe for red beans and rice with garlic, olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and tomato. It is best to use brown rice.
Berries: Try seeing how many berries you can get into one fruit salad. Place your berries into half a cantaloupe with a light sprinkling of walnuts for a tasty light lunch.
Artichokes: Saute artichoke hearts in olive oil and onions. Flavor your artichoke hearts with oregano, lemon juice, and lemon rind.
Do whatever you can to lower and stabilize your blood sugar and avoid your risk for cataracts.