Leafy Greens May Help Prevent Age-Related Vision Loss

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A diet high in nitrates found in leafy green vegetables and beetroot could help reduce your risk of early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study conducted at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia. Researchers found that among the 2,000 adults over age 49 who were followed over a 15-year period, those who ate 100 to 142 milligrams (mg) of vegetable nitrates each day had a 35 percent lower risk of developing early AMD than people who ate less than 69 mg of vegetable nitrates per day.

Vegetables absorb nitrates from the soil. Spinach has about 20 mg of nitrate per ½ cup and beetroot has about 15mg of nitrate per ½ cup. Other vegetables high in nitrates include:

  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Parsley
  • Cabbage
  • Radishes
  • Celery
  • Collard greens

AMD is a leading cause of vision loss, and prevalence increases with age. It affects more than 1.75 million people in the United States — a number that’s expected to grow to about 3 million by 2020 — according to the National Eye Institute.

Sourced from: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics