Move over Bugs Bunny. Your carrots aren’t the only eye-friendly veggie in town.
It turns out Popeye has an even better solution for protecting your peepers.
A new study has found that eating spinach and other leafy greens, including kale, cabbage, lettuce and celery, is the best thing you can do to keep from getting glaucoma, an eye disease that blinds one out of every ten people it strikes.
The researchers tracked 63,893 women and 41,094 men over 40, who took part in the 18 year long Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
Slash your risk of developing glaucoma with greens
After a whole lot of data crunching the team from Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School reached a conclusion that anyone concerned about saving their eyesight needs to hear.
It turns out making nitrate-rich greens a regular part of your diet could significantly slash your risk of developing the most common form of glaucoma known as primary-open angle or POAG.
Blocked drainage canals in the eyes and impaired blood flow in the optic nerve causes pressure to build up and eventually this leads to POAG.
We already knew the nitrate in spinach and other green veggies, which is converted by the body into nitrous oxide, helps to keep your blood circulating.
So the researchers set out to uncover whether it might also be able to help with blood circulation in the eyes specifically, helping to prevent this common type of glaucoma.
And it did — by quite a lot, too!
Single serving of greens slashed glaucoma up to 70%
The team found that those eating foods with the most nitrate had cut their risk of POAG by up to 30 percent.
On top of that, for another type of POAG that involves an early loss in part of the visual field, the green veggie eaters were able to reduce their chances of getting the disease by 50 percent!
Interestingly, where kale or collards are concerned, those who ate just one serving a month of those greens reduced their odds of getting POAG by a whopping 55 to 70 percent. And even if these aren’t your favorite veggies, I’ll bet you can manage to eat just a single serving a month!
Of course, greens aren’t the only vegetables you can get those nitrates from. Beets and radishes are also on the list.
Besides their beneficial effects on eyesight, these natural nitrate sources also help lower blood pressure and the risk of clots by increasing oxygen levels in your blood.
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
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