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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Health Issues and Diet >>  Cataract


A cataract is known to be one of the most common eye diseases. It is usually referred to as the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eyes that impacts vision. The term “ cataract” literally means –a waterfall. Cataract is a condition wherein the lens of the eye is unable to pass light or reduces the light passed to the retina (which ensures light is changed into nerve signals that are sent to the brain) finally resulting in a blurred image. Cataract could progress to blindness as the lens becomes opaque and light rays do not reach the retina.

A cataract is usually related to ageing and a common eye disease among the elderly.

It can occur in either eye or both the eyes but does not spread from one eye to the other.

Symptoms of Cataract:

A blurred vision is perhaps one of the first warning signals one needs to pay heed to incase of cataract. As the cataract progresses, the vision seems to be double vision or spots or both. Here is a list of other important alerts that could mean cataract is blocking your vision:

1. Colors appearing dull.

2. Sources of light such as: headlights, lamps, or sunlight appear brighter than normal. A halo may also appear around lights.

3. Poor night vision.

4. Double vision or multiple images in one eye.

5. Requiring brighter light to read.

6. Changes in eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct vision.

In the advance stage of Cataract, the objects and persons may merely appear as spots of light. In the final stage, there is a grayish-white discoloration in the pupil.

Causes of Cataract:

There are four important factors, which contribute to the loss of transparency of the lens:

1. Immobility of the fluid current in the lens as a result of bad blood condition

2. Deterioration in the nutrition of the lens, which diminishes the vitality of the lens.

3. Acid and salt deposits between the lens fibres have an irritating effect on the lens tissues and exert an increasing pressure thus gradually destroying them

4. Disintegration of the lens fibres, clouding the whole lens in the absence of appropriate measures.

Cataract, as experienced in case of most diseases could be also be caused by poisons in the blood stream due to dietetic errors and faulty style of. How? The toxic matter in the blood stream tends to spread throughout the body to seek shelter in a weak spot. It approaches the lens if it has become weak through strain, excessive use of the eyes or local irritation. The condition then becomes worse with the passage of time and then a cataract starts developing.

The other causes of cataract include:

1. Hereditary

2. Health ailments such as gastro-intestinal or gall-bladder disturbances, diabetes, vitamins deficiencies, especially of vitamin C.

3. Injury to the eye

4. Medications, especially steroids

5. Long-term, unprotected exposure to sunlight

6. Stress and Strain

7. Excessive intake of alcoholic drinks or smoking

8. Excessive intake of sugar and/or salt

9. Fatty acid intolerances

10. Ageing

11. Radiation and side-effects of drugs prescribed for other diseases.

It is also believed that poor nutrition could be an important cause resulting in cataract. This could hold true with regard to a particular type of cataract commonly called as senile or ageing cataract. Dr. Morgan Raiford, an ophthalmologist who has studied cataracts in detail for many years believes improper diet to be a basic factor in cataract. He has found by experience that prevention of cataract could be initiated by improving nutrition.

Some Naturopaths also have reason to believe that cataracts are partly the result of a deficiency of riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Treatment for Cataract:

Cataract is one of the most difficult among eye diseases to contend with. Prevention must be a priority in case signals indicate cataract in the eyes because cure could come through only by surgical removal of the lens. The probability of overcoming cataract by natural means is comparatively higher during the early stages. In an advanced stage a natural body care regime is a measure that is gaining popularity as they could benefit advanced cases of cataract from getting worse.

Research in cataract has provided evidence to reveal that in several cases cataracts have actually been reversed by adequate nutritional treatment. The treatment period for such a reversal of cataract may extend from six months to three years. For egs: One of the best-known nutritionists in the US, Adelle Davis, has pointed out that animals develop cataracts if deprived of certain acids (pantothenic acid and amino acid), tryptophane and vitamin B6 needed for tryptophane (essential for growth and normal metabolism) assimilation. She stresses that the diet of the cataract patient must be high in Vitamin C, D, E, B2, B6, as well as whole B complex, pantothenic acid and other nutrients.

Diet for Cataract:

1. The Warm-up to the diet: Before starting with a diet regime it is important to do a thorough cleansing of the system of all prevailing toxic matter. How? A good diet plan need to be initiated through a strict and rigorous diet for three to four days on fresh orange juice only. This needs to be accompanied by a warm water enema during this period. This will help eliminate toxins in the system and ensure the system reaps the benefits of the diet regime.

2. Diet I: The fast on orange juice must be followed by another strict diet regimen for the next two weeks. Here is a simple list for all your three meals:

A. Breakfast: to comprise mainly of oranges or grapes or any other juicy fruit in season.
B. Lunch: must include raw vegetable salads, add olive oil and lemon juice dressing to spruce up your lunch, you may also include soaked raisins, figs or dates for lunch.
C. Dinner: may include steamed vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot or turnips preferably steamed in their own juices, you may also include a few nuts or some fruits, such as apple, pears and grapes. It is advisable to avoid: potatoes, bread and any other food items to this list.

3. Diet II: This two-week diet must be followed by a much fuller diet. Here is the list of the foods that you must include during your meals:

A. Breakfast: to comprise of fresh fruits in season but avoid bananas.
B. Lunch: Include large mixed raw vegetable salad with whole meal bread or wheat tortilla and butter.
C. Dinner: may comprise of two or three steamed vegetables with nuts and fresh fruits. Avoid Potatoes

4. Diet I followed by a restricted Diet II must be repeated after three months of the initiating the treatment and follow it up three months later, if necessary. It is advisable to cleanse bowels daily with a warm water enema during the fast, and later as required.

5. There is a list of foods a cataract patient must turn a blind eye to. This includes: white bread, sugar, cream, refined cereals; rice, boiled potatoes, puddings, and pies, strong tea or coffee, alcoholic beverages, condiments. Pickles, sauces, or other so-called digestion enhancers.

A good diet alone cannot fulfill the requirements for a healthy body. It has to be supported by a good fitness regime to keep the body fit. Here are some ways to keep the body in the active state:

1. There is no better alternative to an apt physical regime than getting good fresh air and including gentle outdoor activity such as walking that complement the diet treatment in all respects.

2. Exercise for the eye I: Adopt various methods of relaxing and strengthening the eyes. These exercises include moving the eyes gently up and down, from side to side and in a circle, clock-wise and anticlockwise; rotating the neck in circles and semi-circles and briskly moving the shoulders clock-wise and anti-clockwise.

3. Exercise for the eye II: Palming is highly beneficial in removing strain and relaxing the eyes and its surrounding tissues. The procedure is as follows:

A. Relax in a sitting position with eyes closed.

B. Cover the eyes with the palms, right palm over the right eye and the left over the left eye.

C. Allow the elbows to drop to the knees, which should be held fairly close together.

D. Try to imagine blackness, which grows blacker and blacker.

Treating Cataract:

The diet:

Overall, the diet must be initiated with a fresh fruit juice diet to eliminate all toxins in the system followed by a short fast and progressing to a more complete diet. Here is an easy and simple to follow diet regime that can be followed that provides adequate nutrition to patients suffering from cataract:

1. A short fast on orange juice for about three days. The orange juice must be diluted with water and should be taken every two hours from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. The bowels must be cleansed with warm water enema.

2. After the juice fast, a restricted diet should be taken for 10 to 15 days:

A. Breakfast: to comprise juicy fruits.
B. Lunch: Raw vegetable salad with olive oil and lime juice dressing and cooked raisins, dates or figs.
C. Dinner: Steamed vegetables and a few nuts or fruits.

3. A well-balanced diet after the short fast for 10 to 15 days must include:

A. At the start of the day: black raisins soaked overnight in water along with water kept overnight in a copper vessel.
B. Breakfast: may comprise of fresh fruits, a glass of milk, sweetened with honey and few almonds.
C. Lunch: may comprise of steamed vegetables, two or three whole wheat wheat tortilla and a glass of buttermilk.
D. Dinner: must include a large bowl of fresh salad of green vegetables, with sprouted beans and cottage cheese or buttermilk.
E. Before retiring: A glass of fresh milk with few dates may be taken.

4. Avoid throughout your diet regime and otherwise foods that are not considered good for a cataract condition: White bread, sugar, cream, refined cereals, rice, boiled potatoes, pudding and pies, strong tea or coffee, alcoholic beverages, condiments, pickles and sauces.

5. The short juice fast may be followed by the restricted diet and can be repeated every two months to reap health benefits.

The other measures include:

1. Eye muscle exercises and palming as exercises for eye.

2. Fresh air and outdoors exercise, especially brisk walks to keep body fit and active.

Submitted on January 16, 2014