One issue many of us fear as we age is losing our eyesight. There are a number of age-related problems that can affect eyesight, including glaucoma. Fortunately, the results of a large study reveal that it's easy to significantly reduce your risk of developing this condition as you get older. All you have to do is make just one simple change to your diet.
For this study, researchers were able to examine data from over 100,000 participants age 40 and older in the Nurses' Health Study. Over 63,000 women participated from 1984 to 2012. The researchers collected data from over 41,000 men from 1986 to 2012. None of these participants had open-angle glaucoma at the beginning of the study, a condition in which fluid builds up in the eye as a result of poor blood flow, causing a loss of vision and damage to the optic nerve. About 1% of the population suffers from open-angle glaucoma.
According to this study, you can avoid being part of this 1% simply by eating your greens. That's because leafy green vegetables are rich in nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps maintain proper blood flow and can help keep pressure down in the eye. The researchers found that those who consumed the most nitrates (one-and-a-half servings of greens a day) were 21% less likely to develop open-angle glaucoma by the time they reached their 60s and 70s than those who consumed the least nitrates (one-third of a serving a day).
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It's true that people who consume a lot of green leafy vegetables are likely to have other good health habits, such as exercising, eating other healthful foods, and not smoking. But the researchers adjusted for these factors and found that nitrate intake was still associated with a lowered glaucoma risk. In fact, those who ate the most greens were 48% less likely to develop the paracentral form of glaucoma, which is particularly related to impaired blood flow.
For optimal health, you should be consuming 2 to 3.5 cups of vegetables a day, a recommendation few adults manage to follow. Making green leafy vegetables like kale, mustard greens, chard, and spinach a big part of that can go a long way toward protecting your eye health. But if you prefer other vegetables or just don't like eating greens, you can supplement with Advanced Greens Formula. It will help provide you the nutrients you need to protect your eyes as you age — and you'll need your eyesight to read the small print we had to use to be able to list all the fantastic ingredients we packed into this formula!
Another way to increase your nitric oxide levels is with CircO2 lozenges. Just take one lozenge a day and you can measure your increase in nitric oxide using the test strips that come along with the product.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD