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Broccoli and Cataract Prevention

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Cataracts are some of the main causes of vision loss especially among people over 75 years of age. Cataracts can be described as cloudy spots just behind the pupil of the eye. People with cataract have a foggy and dim vision especially when the degree of light is low. Cataracts can be nuclear (when they are situated in the centre of the eye), cortical (in the superficial vision cortex) or they can be located in the subcapsular area. Cataracts are caused by the damage produced in the lens of the eye by the actions of free radicals. Cataracts are not inevitable, but there are cases in which they can not be prevented such as cataracts that occur in the case of people over 75. But even in these cases certain measures can be taken to slow their advance. Vegetables that contain carotenoid (especially broccoli) are the main ingredient in the protection against cataracts. Broccoli is a great source of xanthophylls, a category of carotenoids that can also be found in the lenses of the human eye. Xanthophylls can be found in broccoli in two forms: as lutein or as zeaxanthin. Lutein is one of the most important compounds in prevention and slowing down the growth of cataracts. It acts as an antioxidant and it is a key element in maintaining clear vision. Studies have shown that people who eat broccoli and therefore increase their intake of lutein or as zeaxanthin have less chances of developing cataracts, even at old ages.

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