The macula, or ‘yellow spot’, contains exceptionally high levels of two antioxidant plant pigments, lutein and zeaxanthin (lutein is also found in the lens and other issues of the eye.) both lutein and zeaxanthin are found in dark green and orange-yellow fruit and veg. These foods seems to protect against AMD cataracts.

  • KALE This dark green leafy vegetable has exceptionally high concentrations of lutien and zeaxanthin, which reduce the risk of AMD.
  • WINE Among 3,072 people aged 45 to 74 participating in a major study of diet and health, 9 per cent of non-drinkers developed AMD compared with only 4 per cent of wine drinkers. Researchers found that wine was associated with a one-fifth lower risk of AMD after other risk factors were taken into account. It may be because red wine contains antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols.
  • LOW GI FOODS In a subset of 4,003 participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), low GI (glycaemic index) diets, and diets with higher lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3s, zinc and vitamins C and E reduced the risk of AMD.
  • ORANGES Make citrus foods an essential part of your diet. In a study of 677 people of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, higher blood levels of vitamin C were associated with a 64 per cent reduced risk of cataracts. And a study found that people with the highest blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin (both found in oranges) were over 40 per cent less likely to have a cataract than those with then lowest levels.
  • OILY FISH Omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish protect against eye disease even among people already at risk. In a group of 1,837 people in the AREDS study at moderate-to-high risk of AMD, those with the highest omega-3 intake were over 30 per cent less likely to develop AMD over the next 12 years.
  • GREEN TEA Rich in antioxidants, green tea reduces lens clouding in animal experiments and may help to protect against cataracts.