Green Veggies May Protect Eyesight
There's some good news for those worried about losing their eyesight as they age. According to a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables might help reduce the risk.
An estimated 3 million Americans have glaucoma -- and 120,000 are blind because of the disease. There is no cure for glaucoma, nor are there early symptoms that might assist in catching the disease in its early stages.
But the research done at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston offers some hope in terms of glaucoma prevention. Scientists analyzed data from 63,893 women and 41,094 men. All participants were over the age of 40 and had no history of what's known as primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG is caused by a slow clogging of the eye's drainage canals that slowly increases the pressure within the eye.
Every two years, diets were assessed for their green vegetable intake and their nitrate intake. The participants were split into five groups accordingly; the highest group consumed roughly 240 mg of nitrate per day and the lowest approximately 80 mg per day.
The results were clear: the group consuming the most nitrogen had a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of POAG.
Veggies with high nitrate content include collard greens, cabbage, lettuce, celery, radishes, kale, spinach, carrots and beets.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Even with treatment, 10 percent of people with the condition will eventually lose their sight.
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