Certain foods add significant protection from glaucoma and perhaps other eye diseases

canstockphoto18837715Wouldn’t enjoying foods that not only delight your senses, but also protect you from disease be great?! Discovering a study about glaucoma incidence and dietary intake told us we had to bring it to your attention:

The association of consumption of fruits/vegetables with decreased risk of glaucoma among older African-American women in the study of osteoporotic fractures.

American journal of ophthalmology. 2012 Oct;154(4):635-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2012.03.048. Epub 2012 Jul 20.Giaconi JA, Yu F, Stone KL, Pedula KL, Ensrud KE, Cauley JA, Hochberg MC, Coleman AL; Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group

PMID: 22818906, NIH, NLM, PubMed access to MEDLINE

Glaucoma has become an important topic in the Protection from Disease forum on LivingTheCRWay.comwhere we have explored various causes for the disease. This study looked at African Americans because glaucoma is the number one cause of blindness among African American women.

The study focused only on the antioxidant content of fruits and vegetables as a reason for glaucoma protection. But we all know that fruits and vegetables that are high GI and/or high in fructose can have negative effects associated with glaucoma and other diseases.

A no-surprise finding: Bananas, high-GI and high in fructose, made little difference in glaucoma protection, whereas weekly intake of one or two whole oranges decreased risk significantly. Similarly, orange juice and canned peaches, both high-GI, didn’t protect against glaucoma.

Also, reduction of antioxidant activity may not be the only way that certain fruits and vegetables provide glaucoma protection – but, rather, multiple benefits of phytonutrients could play a role.

These study findings seem especially significant:

Women who ate 3 or more servings/day of fruits/fruit juices were 79% (odds ratio [OR] = 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.08-0.60) less likely to have glaucoma than women who ate less than 1 serving/day.

Women who consumed more than 2 servings/week of fresh oranges (OR = 0.18; 95% CI: 0.06-0.51) and fresh peaches (OR = 0.30; 95% CI: 0.13-0.67) showed decreased odds of glaucoma compared to those consuming less than 1 serving/week.

For vegetables: >1 serving/week compared to ≤1 serving/month of collard or kale greens decreased the odds of glaucoma by 57% (OR = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.21-0.85).

There was a protective trend against glaucoma in those consuming more fruit/fruit juices (P = .023), fresh oranges (P = .002), fresh peaches (P = .002), and collard or kale greens (P = .014).

Kale and collard greens were all-stars – significantly decreasing glaucoma, even when consumed only once a month. Because these veggies are high in oxalates, eating them in conjunction with lemons and or lemon juice will help keep the oxalates in solution, allowing them to be eliminated through the urine.

We are also using collards and their stalks in some favorite recipes.

For those who are The CR Way to Great Glucose Control subscribers, you will find a recipe for kale on page 90. Note: This recipe is a spread that uses avocado and is likely to provide the kale and other eye-friendly foods in a form that is readily absorbable.

While the study above is valuable, it did not consider eating the fruit peels, which have high concentrations of bioflavonoids. Some studies show them to be linked to formation and strengthening of micro-capillaries – important to eye health generally. Become a healthy start member and log in to visit the Foods & Recipes, Cooked and Raw forum for an eye-healing cereal that incorporates this concept.

What a pity that the study didn’t include a look at red cabbage and other foods high in phytonutrients! 

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