Its the time of year for kale – what a wonderful vegetable! It is loaded with nutrients like vitamins K, A, and C, iron, calcium, folate, and even a some protein. And all of this is packed in a very low calorie package! Kale belongs to a group of vegetables classified as leafy green vegetables. These include other greens like spinach, swiss chard and dark green lettuce. A recent study found that people who ate more leafy green vegetables had a lower risk for primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease which left untreated can lead to vision loss over time. The preventive benefits seen in this study are probably due to the high nitrate content in leafy green vegetables. This is just one of the many benefits of eating kale and all its relatives. So during this season, enjoy your kale, and throughout the year make sure to eat your leafy greens!
Kang, J. H., Willett, W. W., Rosner, B. A., Buys, E., Wiggs, J. L., and Pasquale, L. R. (2016) 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 Ophthalmology. 134(3):294-303. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.5601.