Loved Popeye-The Sailor Man as a series? It’s time to take a cue from his life too! If the findings of a latest study are to be believed, including vegetables rich in nitrate; like spinach and beetroot could prevent macular degeneration. Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss across the world; it mostly affects people over age 50. The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The study revealed, that who ate between 100 to 142 mgs (milligrams) of vegetable nitrates each day had a 35 per cent lower risk of developing early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than people who ate less than 69 mgs of vegetable nitrates each day. 

Spinach has approximately 20mg of nitrate per 100g, while beetroot has nearly 15mg of nitrate per 100g.

“This is the first time the effects of dietary nitrates on macular degeneration risk has been measured,” said lead researcher Bamini Gopinath from Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia.
More than 2,000 Australian adults aged over 49 were interviewed for the study. The researchers followed them over a 15-year period.

“If our findings are confirmed, incorporating a range of foods rich in dietary nitrates – like green leafy vegetables and beetroot – could be a simple strategy to reduce the risk of early macular degeneration,” Gopinath said.

The research did not show any additional benefits for people who exceeded 142mgs of dietary nitrate each day. 

Age is the strongest known risk factor for AMD and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50.There is currently no cure for the disease. According to scientists, monitoring your diet and including more nitrate rich vegetables in the diet could help delay the onset of the disease. 
The study was observational in nature and did not establish any causal relationship between the particular diet and the onset of disease.

(With inputs IANS) 

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