Green Tea Protects Seniors’ Eyesight, Studies Show
Drivers diagnosed with advanced glaucoma are involved in twice the number of auto accidents as drivers with healthy vision are, according to a study from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan. The ability to drive is vital to seniors striving to remain independence—in fact, the most recent White House Conference on Aging identified transportation as the third-most important issue facing seniors.
Glaucoma affects more than 2.2 million Americans and is one of the major causes of blindness, the Glaucoma Research Foundation reports. Even in the early stages, glaucoma makes it difficult to see pedestrians while driving. As the disease progresses, disability increases and driving becomes impossible. As anyone can imagine, this seriously impacts the senior’s day-to-day living, especially if the sufferer doesn’t have a friend or relative who can be relied upon for transportation. There is no cure for glaucoma. Prevention is key.
How Green Tea Can Help
A 2010 study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that drinking green tea may help prevent this vision-robbing disease. Green tea contains catechins—and in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—a class of polyphenolic antioxidants that were found to penetrate deep into the tissues of the eyes, where they help protect sight. Their research revealed that consuming green tea may help the eye to battle oxidative stress and ultimately, glaucoma.
In addition to possibly saving your vision, the EGCG in green tea has numerous other health benefits. Mercola.com reports that EGCG supports the cardiovascular system, decreases inflammation and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a number of chronic illnesses and autoimmune diseases.
Recommended Types of Green Tea
When it comes to green tea, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ certainly applies. As you may remember, some low-quality teas may be loaded with pesticides and toxic contaminants, so it’s best to select a high-quality, organic green tea. One good choice is Matcha green tea, which is made up of tea leaves that are ground into a powder and stirred directly into a cup of hot water. This tea is said to contain more than 100 times the EGCG as compared to regular brewed green tea.
The Ideal Amount to Drink Each Day
Most of the studies that were conducted were based on about three cups each day. Each cup provides approximately 20 to 35 milligrams of EGCG. Flooding your body with these potent nutrients can help save your sight, and ultimately, your ability to drive and remain independent.
While many people ask at what age one should stop driving, according to TheHartford.com, there is no right or wrong age—the key is simply keeping your vision sharp.