Oxidative stress results when there is an imbalance between damaging free radicals roaming the body and the antioxidants that keep them in check. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms (molecules) that are highly reactive with other atoms and molecules because they have unpaired electrons. In the body, a free radical usually is an oxygen molecule that self-stabilizes by taking an electron from another molecule, which in turn tries to take an electron from another molecule, and so on.
People who consistently follow a healthy diet that includes colorful fruits, vegetables and whole grains may show a decreased risk of cataracts. Antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables that may reduce the risk of cataracts include vitamins A, C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin. Consumption of fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, also has been linked to potentially reduced risk of cataracts or their progression.
So exactly what is a healthy diet? A healthy diet that provides good nutrition for healthy eyes includes five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day, at least three servings of 100 percent whole grains each day and two servings of fish each week. The total calories consumed should be just enough to keep you at a healthy weight, based on your individual activity level and metabolism.