Dietary nitrates found in green leafy vegetables reduce your risk for glaucoma, according to a study published online in JAMA Ophthalmology. Researchers followed participants from the Nurse’s Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Those with the highest intake of plant-derived dietary nitrates had a 21 percent lower risk of all primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and a 44 percent lower risk for POAG associated with impaired blood flow when compared to those with the lowest intake. Participants consumed a variety of nitrate-rich vegetables including kale, mustard greens, chard, and spinach, and consumed more antioxidants, folate, and vitamins from other vegetables than those who consumed lower amounts of nitrates. This study supports dietary interventions as effective prevention for blood flow dysregulation that may lead to glaucoma.
- Kang JH, Willett WC, Rosner BA, Buys E, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR. Association of dietary nitrate intake with primary open-angle glaucoma: a prospective analysis from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online January 14, 2016.