LEAFY green vegetables may be the secret to boosting our sight.A diet rich in nitrate – found in spinach, kale and lettuce – reduces the risk of glaucoma by up to 30 per cent, scientists revealed.
The study was published in JAMA Opthalmology.
Scientists from Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School studied the association between dietary nitrate intake and primary open-angle glaucoma.
The disease occurs because of damage to the optic nerve, often when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
It is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60.
Previous research suggested that nitrate – which is found in leafy green vegetables – is beneficial for blood circulation.
And so, the scientists set out to see if it has any effects on glaucoma.
The scientists analyzed the diets and eye exams of nearly 64,000 women between 1984 and 2012, as well as 41,000 men.
Each of the participants were over the age of 40 at the time the study began – and none of they had glaucoma.
The participants had eye exams every two years.
The surveys followed up with the participants over 25 years.
The participants were given repeated questionnaires, which allows researchers to evaluate their nitrate intake and glaucoma risk.
And, over the course of the study, 1,483 of the participants developed the disease.
The researchers looked at the participants’ dietary intake.