Spinach protects your eyesight as you get older

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Adding plenty of green leafy vegetables to your diet could help ward off age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the most common causes of failing eyesight as we get older.

Eating between 100 and 142 mgs of vegetable nitrates—found in leafy vegetables and beetroot—every day reduces the risk of developing AMD by around 35 per cent.

Spinach contains 20mg of nitrate, and beetroot has 15mg, per 100g serving.


Researchers from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research made the discovery when they tracked the diets and eye health of more than 2,000 people aged 49 years and older. Over the 15 years of the study, the researchers discovered that those who ate up to 142 mgs of vegetable nitrates every day were also less likely to have early signs of AMD, which, in some cases, can even cause blindness.

Once it starts to progress, medicine has no answers—which is why prevention is so important, the researchers say.

Interestingly, the researchers didn't investigate whether eating more than 142 mgs of vegetable nitrates had an even bigger protective effect.

(Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018; doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.07.012)

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