Nutrition and Healing
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  • Put more green on your plate to save your vision

    Over three million Americans have a condition that could render them partially or entirely blind.

    Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness — in everyone, not just seniors — and with it, whatever vision you lose, you lose forever.

    So, it’s important to protect your eyes — and since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, there’s no time like the present to stop it from progressing or prevent it altogether.

    And all it may take is changing what you put on your plate.

    Glaucoma can be caused when there is an impairment of blood flow to the eyes. Because you can’t feel it, you may not know there’s a problem until you actually start losing your vision.

    Researchers have found that eating your green leafy veggies improves the blood flow in your eyes, helping decrease the risk for developing primary open-angle glaucoma, or POAG.

    According to one study of over 100,000 people, those who ate leafy greens each day were 30 percent less likely to develop glaucoma over the course of 25 years.

    They were also about 50 percent less likely to develop the type of glaucoma when vision is lost in the central visual field (as opposed to losing peripheral vision).

    The amount of blood that gets to every nook and cranny of your body is one of the most crucial aspects of all of health. If the blood isn’t able to nourish the organs and muscles and every other piece of the body, basically nothing works.

    And nitric oxide works by relaxing arteries and making them more flexible, so blood can flow freely through your body.

    There are many ways to raise nitric oxide levels naturally with superfoods and supplements — but perhaps most famously, there’s spinach. That leafy green is what famously gave Popeye his power, but what you may not know is that spinach is LOADED with nitrates — and your body converts nitrates to nitric oxide.

    In addition to spinach, there are other nitrate-rich superfoods that Popeye could have used for his muscles — like beets, carrots, and arugula (sometimes packaged as “rocket” or “roquette”).

    In fact, many of the supplements that are touted for lowering blood pressure and increasing nitric oxide are actually made from beets!

    Foods such as garlic, cocoa, pomegranate, vitamin C, and thus all the citrus fruits can also help raise NO levels, as can supplements such as citrulline, arginine, pycnogenol, quercetin, and horny goat weed.

    Exercise also has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels as well.

    Sources:

    Green, leafy vegetables help keep glaucoma at bay
    (www.nlm.nih.gov)

    Association of Dietary Nitrate Intake With Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
    (archopht.jamanetwork.com)

    Glaucoma Facts and Stats
    (www.glaucoma.org)

     

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