Greens vs. Glaucoma

Greens vs. Glaucoma
4.38 (87.5%) 16 votes

Kale and collard greens contain vision-protecting plant nutrients, such as zeaxanthin, that may significantly lower the risk of glaucoma—a leading cause of blindness.

Discuss
Republish

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of legal blindness in white women, but the #1 cause of blindness in African-American women. That’s one reason researchers chose a population of African-American women to study the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on glaucoma risk. But, the other reason is because they were specifically interested in foods with the highest concentration of those eye-protecting phytonutrients like zeaxanthin—kale and collard greens. But, you’d be lucky if you could find one in ten white people eating even a single serving a month, whereas that was a no-brainer for African-Americans.

What’d they find? Well, as I’ve stressed over the years, all fruits and vegetables are not the same. Whether you hardly ever ate bananas, or had one or more bananas every day, didn’t seem to matter much. But, eating a couple oranges every week was associated with dramatically lower risk. Not orange juice, though. You can drink orange juice every day, and it didn’t seem to matter. A similar finding with peaches; fresh peaches seemed to work, but canned peaches didn’t.

Similarly, vegetables in general, as a catch-all term, didn’t seem to matter. For example, whether you ate a green salad twice a week, once a week, or zero times a week didn’t seem to matter when it came to reducing glaucoma risk. But, you know how pitiful most people’s salads are.

Here’s the kale and collard greens. Check it out. Just two or three servings a month was associated with half the risk of glaucoma, compared to once a month or less. White people, take note, as you may need it even more. The lighter our eye color, the more greens we need to eat. Blue eyes let 100 times more light through, so people with blue or gray eyes appear significantly more vulnerable to damage compared to brown or black, with green and hazel somewhere in the middle.

It’s interesting; carrots appeared to be less protective in black women compared to white women. They suggest it could be differences in food preparation methods. Perhaps the African-American subjects tended to eat carrots raw, limiting the absorption of certain nutrients, while they chopped and prepared their collard greens with oil, making the nutrients more bioavailable—because the absorption of carotenoid phytonutrients depends on the presence of fat, which is why I encourage people to eat nuts or seeds with their greens; a little tahini sauce, or something.

Why not just take a zeaxanthin pill? Well, we don’t know what exactly it is in these wonderful foods that’s working their wonders, so it may be better to just recommend folks eat them, rather than supplements. In fact, people that take calcium or iron supplements may be doubling, quadrupling, or septupling their odds of glaucoma. Better to just get most of our nutrients from produce, not pills.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Community Eye Health via flickr. Thanks to Ellen Reid for her image-finding expertise, and Jeff Thomas for his Keynote help.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of legal blindness in white women, but the #1 cause of blindness in African-American women. That’s one reason researchers chose a population of African-American women to study the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on glaucoma risk. But, the other reason is because they were specifically interested in foods with the highest concentration of those eye-protecting phytonutrients like zeaxanthin—kale and collard greens. But, you’d be lucky if you could find one in ten white people eating even a single serving a month, whereas that was a no-brainer for African-Americans.

What’d they find? Well, as I’ve stressed over the years, all fruits and vegetables are not the same. Whether you hardly ever ate bananas, or had one or more bananas every day, didn’t seem to matter much. But, eating a couple oranges every week was associated with dramatically lower risk. Not orange juice, though. You can drink orange juice every day, and it didn’t seem to matter. A similar finding with peaches; fresh peaches seemed to work, but canned peaches didn’t.

Similarly, vegetables in general, as a catch-all term, didn’t seem to matter. For example, whether you ate a green salad twice a week, once a week, or zero times a week didn’t seem to matter when it came to reducing glaucoma risk. But, you know how pitiful most people’s salads are.

Here’s the kale and collard greens. Check it out. Just two or three servings a month was associated with half the risk of glaucoma, compared to once a month or less. White people, take note, as you may need it even more. The lighter our eye color, the more greens we need to eat. Blue eyes let 100 times more light through, so people with blue or gray eyes appear significantly more vulnerable to damage compared to brown or black, with green and hazel somewhere in the middle.

It’s interesting; carrots appeared to be less protective in black women compared to white women. They suggest it could be differences in food preparation methods. Perhaps the African-American subjects tended to eat carrots raw, limiting the absorption of certain nutrients, while they chopped and prepared their collard greens with oil, making the nutrients more bioavailable—because the absorption of carotenoid phytonutrients depends on the presence of fat, which is why I encourage people to eat nuts or seeds with their greens; a little tahini sauce, or something.

Why not just take a zeaxanthin pill? Well, we don’t know what exactly it is in these wonderful foods that’s working their wonders, so it may be better to just recommend folks eat them, rather than supplements. In fact, people that take calcium or iron supplements may be doubling, quadrupling, or septupling their odds of glaucoma. Better to just get most of our nutrients from produce, not pills.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Community Eye Health via flickr. Thanks to Ellen Reid for her image-finding expertise, and Jeff Thomas for his Keynote help.

Doctor's Note

I demonstrated the not-all-fruits-and-veggies-are-the-same motif recently in my video How to Reach the Antioxidant “RDA”

I explored the fat-enhanced absorption of carotenoid phytonutrients in Forego Fat-Free Dressings?

Don’t eggs also have zeaxanthin? Find out how much in Egg Industry Blind Spot.

I wish there were more studies on under-represented minorities. I’ve covered a few, such as Preventing Breast Cancer by Any Greens Necessary, but am constantly on the lookout for more.

The only other video I’ve done on glaucoma is Prevent Glaucoma & See 27 Miles Farther, though I have a video coming up soon on treating the disease: Dietary Treatment of Glaucoma. Next, however, is macular degeneration: Dietary Prevention of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

62 responses to “Greens vs. Glaucoma

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

  1. Thanks so much for continuing to look at Glaucoma. I look forward to your upcoming video on treatment. I live in Japan and have access to kale in all forms, but I especially find individual dry packets both convenient and palatable. I use a frother to whisk it into 6-8 oz fresh water at least once daily. Both wheatgrass and kale are very popular health drinks here. I am being treated for Glaucoma by nightly drops and hope to hear how my plant-based diet might help me further.

    Two other items: I notice that I do not see that much about wheatgrass on your website and wonder if it is worth continuing to drink wheatgrass juice or to stick with Kale. Also, I use a mushroom extract (“soluable agaricus granul -contains beta glucan” ) obtained locally in individual powder envelopes that I periodically mix into my miso soup. I have not noticed much on this topic and wondered if you would comment on the utility of agaricus blazie mushroom granules as it is sold ‘for healthy living’ and is promoted for those with cancer due to increased NK activity. It is sold in 3 gram packets (60 per box). Another company has it at 1.5 gram packets (90) per box and I’ve used both and cannot tell the difference. After 6 years, I’m wondering if this has been a good investment now that I see you discussing NK activity recently on your website.

      1. I used to drink much green juice and my tumors kept going full speed ahead. Not until I added 2 wheat grass drinks per day did it shut down the tumors. I felt them stop in 2 short days

    1. I’m a big fan of β-glucans, but believe you should be aware that there have been reports of A. blazei extracts causing liver failure (1, 2). It might be high levels of agaritine, or cadmium accumulation from growth medium, but the second report suggests that one can ingest enough β-glucans to stimulate autoimmune attack against healthy cells.

      Modus omnibus in rebus

      1. Thank you for your knowledge and citations on A. blazei and cancer patients with liver failure. I surmised potential autoimmune problems and, as I say, am a periodic user. I have good health and do not use alcohol but happen to have periodic liver panels (use prescribed niacin). My liver function tests are always good. Your citation led me to the local Japanese name of this mushroom, which seems to be ‘himematsutake.’ I hope to find the whole food, which I prefer. As this mushroom was cultivated in Brazil, I did not expect to find it here, although we have a vast array of varieties of mushrooms. As an American with limited kanji proficiency, a thoughtful daily life here entails considerable research. I appreciate your help and how your contributions on this web site are always well done.

      2. Darryl, another great post, thanks! Do you have references for more mushroom nutrient levels like this? I have a field of shaggy manes that grow in my yard in the summer, can’t find anything on them.

    2. I have glaucona and eat healthy. My pressure is high so I was started on drops. I have blue eyes. I eat kale and spinach almost every day. I also take supplements of lutein and Asta xanthin. Should I take these supplements also? Thank you.

      1. Hi, Bobbie. Sorry to learn that you are dealing with glaucoma. Right now, the feeling is that the supplements may not have much benefit. When you eat your greens, do you eat them with something includes some fat, such as nuts or seeds? Also, do you eat collard greens? If not, you might want to start. Without knowing more about you and your diet, it is difficult to give you more advice, but I hope that helps!

  2. How about Barley Grass powder? I hear great things about this stuff but I don’t seem to be able to find any peer-reviewed research as to its merits alone, or compared to other “greens”. Thanks for this topic. Glaucoma is serious issue for lots, and many seem to be depending on things like barley grass supplements and wheat grass, and this might not be a good idea if the research does not support it when compared to the greens you have highlighted today.

  3. Over that past six months (since discovering this site) I have begun a regimen that is heavy in spinach and other whole foods. I have blue eyes and since my mother struggled with her eyes, (macular degeneration), I am greatly concerned. Should I be watch the amount of iron rich, green leafies I eat? I already try to stay away from other sources iron.

    1. Hi Chris, nice going. To me, the message seems eat the whole food and avoid the super-concentrated, isolated extract/supplements. Play the symphony, not the solo : )

    2. You don’t need to worry about iron AT ALL in plants. As explained in other videos here, our bodies have a mechanism that easily deals with excess plant iron. We only absorb what we need and safely excrete the rest. This is not the case for heme iron which is from animals, or from iron supplements. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables that are high in iron and a plethora of other minerals and nutrients, you can only benefit!

  4. The chemical mechanism via which carotenoids protect against UV damage is cool.

    UV light can excite the electrons of ordinary oxygen molecules into a higher energy and highly reactive state, called singlet molecular oxygen. Our cells have few means of inactivating singlet oxygen before it does damage, but carotenoids like zeaxanthin can. See the long polyene chain of alterating single and double bonds in zeaxanthin:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/Zeaxanthin.PNG/640px-Zeaxanthin.PNG

    When singlet oxygen bumps into a carotenoid, it transfers its excited electronic energy to the polyene chain, where its passed back and forth along the narrowly spaced electron orbital energies of those double bonds, propelling the carotenoid a bit each time, until the excitement energy is dissippated as harmless heat. This process, called physical quenching, doesn’t consume the carotenoid as chemical quenching would. Its ready to physically quench another singlet oxygen immediately.

    Physical quenching by carotenoids is estimated to be 2000 times greater than their chemical quenching, but most antioxidant assays, including ORAC, don’t measure physical quenching of singlet oxygen. Hence ORAC markedly underestimates the in vivo antioxidant potential of high carotenoid foods, like kale, tomatoes, spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard, collards and (then) carrots. Lycopene from tomatoes is the most potent physical quencher, and eating tomato paste prevents sunburn, but lutein & xeazanthin (high in kale, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, radicchio & collards) are the only carotenoids found in the retina of the eye.

    1. That truly is fascinating. I thought I knew a decent bit about nutritional chemistry, and even I had never heard of the level to which this effect (physical, non deconstructing, quenching) can achieve! There is so much wonderful science out that that if only every new paper could be put into action in terms of preparing some kind of monthly check list of the things we should eat and their amounts and preparation methods, that would be incredible. Alas, places like this are about the closest we will ever get to such a collection. This site is a god bless, but consolidating everything into a universal daily, weekly, monthly diet regimen that would be easy for even the layman to understand would be wonderful. Of course, everyone being different, ‘universal’ might be too word. Maybe just guidelines.
      Also, I wanted you to know that I appreciate the time you take in helping us poor souls out with the nuances of this field. I look forward to your tips each video almost as much as the video itself. I know often the science isn’t exact so its hard to steer people with 100% certainty toward the best option, but even taking that into account, you are saving lives by walking us through it.

  5. I alternate my breakfasts between steel-cut oats (with walnuts, blackberries and unsweetened soy milk) and quinoa (with blueberries, almonds, ground flax seed and unsweetened soy milk). Then, time permitting, I make a green smoothie consisting of kale and / or collard greens. I got someone at work drinking the kale concoction, and she loves the clean feeling it gives you.

    This is a little bit off-topic, but here is a very well put together website on some amazing vegan athletes. Be sure to vote for the Vegan Athlete of 2013 while you’re there: http://www.greatveganathletes.com/

  6. I was hoping the good Doctor might be willing to write a column or produce a video on orthorexia nervosa, which appears to be a common phenomenon among users of nutritional websites. Many vegans have the best intentions but more than a few are just feeding orthorectic eating habits.

    1. Was a medical term coined for the population that eats crap or only for the people who care enough about their health to be proactive?

      1. May I suggest: pararexia nervosa

        As with orthorexia, it won’t find its way into the DSM, but its fun to diagnose strangers from our armchairs.

    2. No, guest, veganism is NOT a diet nor is it about a diet. Veganism is about practicing equality, justice and the most basic forms of compassion. Being plant based vs. being vegan are two totally separate things, generally speaking. All vegans are plant based eaters but not all plant based eaters are vegan, get it? Either way, whether someone is plant based, vegan, or neither, it is wrong to try to classify an entire group of people based on one distinguishing commonality and decide that much of them are simply just “orthoretic.” Not only is that insulting and prejudice, but it’s also ignorant on too many levels to count.
      If you want to address eating disorders, please do so WITHOUT attempting to profile people you know nothing about. Not only is that wrong and insulting (to say the least) but it’s also insulting to those with serious eating disorders.

    1. It doesn’t seem to matter. In this study, the bioavailability of lutein from whole leaf, minced, and liquified spinach was about the same. There is evidence that adding oil (from avocados or avocado oil in this study) increases lutein bioavailability from salad 4.3-to-6.7 fold. I suspect the situation would be similar with juices.

  7. Dr. Greger forgot to tell us why he used zeaxanthin in the description of this video. There are more than 100 beneficial phytochemicals in each of the plants that he mentions in this video.

    Green cruciferous vegetables (kale greens, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli, watercress, Brussel’s sprouts, and cabbage) contain the carotenoids, lutein, neoxanthin, violaxanthin, beta-carotene, and only a moderate amount of zeaxanthin. Crucifers also contain various glucosinolates and myrosinase, which will convert into various isothiocyanates when chewed.

    Whole raw oranges, which did well in this study against glaucoma, are moderately rich in the carotenoids, beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene, but they contain very little zeaxanthin. The only citrus fruits that are high in zeaxanthin are red grapefruits (but not white grapefruits).

    The fact that 100% fruit juices did poorly compared to whole raw fruits indicates fiber, not carotenoids or polyphenols, delivered the glaucoma-preventing benefits.

    The fact that canned and dried peaches did poorly compared to whole raw peaches indicates that the good bacteria that thrive on raw plants may have delivered the glaucoma-preventing benefits and not the fiber, which feeds the good bacteria, or the carotenoids and polyphenols. In any event, peaches aren’t that high in zeaxanthin.

    The fact that iron supplements caused severe eye damage is not surprising because, like copper, manganese, and aluminum, iron is a pro-oxidant which, if consumed in excess, will damage every cell in our bodies and increase our risk of developing numerous killer diseases.

    The fact that calcium supplements caused severe eye damage is a bit of a surprise. I’ve heard that calcium supplements can cause calcified arteries, cardiovascular problems, and various cancers but I was not aware that swallowing calcium supplements can increase our risk of developing glaucoma.

    1. Correction: Red grapefruits are high in the carotenoid, lycopene, but contain zero zeaxanthin. Therefore, all citrus fruits are low in both lutein and zeaxanthin.

      Whole raw carrots performed moderately well against glaucoma in this study. Carrots are extremely rich in beta-carotene but not that high in lutein or zeaxanthin.

      1. Actually, the video says that cooked carrots are better for the eyes. Min 2:21 “Perhaps the African American subjects tended to eat the carrots raw limiting the absorption of certain nutrients…”

    2. Too much calcium can be a risk factor for glaucoma just like too much iron, because calcium, like iron, is an oxidant. The studies show that 800 mg or more of SUPPLEMENTAL calcium increase one’s risk just as 18 mg or more of SUPPLEMENTAL iron do.

  8. I alternate my breakfasts between steel-cut oats (with walnuts, blackberries and unsweetened soy milk) and quinoa (with blueberries, almonds, ground flax seed and unsweetened soy milk). Then, time permitting, I make a green smoothie consisting of kale and / or collard greens. I got someone at work drinking the kale concoction, and she loves the clean feeling it gives you.

    This is a little bit off-topic, but here is a very well put together website on some amazing vegan athletes. Be sure to vote for the Vegan Athlete of 2013 while you’re there:

    http://www.greatveganathletes.com/

  9. I’m confused… the initial premise was that black women suffer *more* from glaucoma than white women. Then it proceeds with how black women eat tons more greens and have dark-pigment eyes, while white women eat no such greens and have pale eyes. So…. huh?

    1. FooBlahGrl: It’s a valid question. I haven’t looked at the studies, so I can’t answer with any authority. But here’s my guess: As a population, black people probably eat more kale and collards, but there would still be a lot of variability within the population. So, you could take that population and compare those who eat more to those who eat less. Where as, it is presumably hard to find a “eat more” group of significant size of the white women. What do you think?

    2. I was confused too about that and rewatched the video. The scientists wanted to see if kale and collards were protective but they couldn’t find enough white people eating them so they studied a group of African Americans. Amongst that group there were people who ate them and people who didn’t and the ones who ate them had far less incidence of glaucoma.

  10. Doctor Greger, there’s an article floating around on Facebook called “The Dark Side Of Kale (And How To Eat Around It)” that I found troubling. as a huge fan of Kale (I put lots of Kale in my breakfast smoothie each day), I am having trouble believing that this is a credible article.

    Can you please address this article?

    The article that I am referring to is here:

    http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/01/the-dark-side-of-kale-and-how-to-eat-around-it

  11. Hi Doctor,
    I suffer from a bad thyroid that eventually stabilized with levothyroxine treatment (129mcg/daily). I’ve heard so much about the health benefits of greens such as kale that I’ve included it in my juicing diet I’ve started recently.
    However, I’ve been hearing that cruciferous vegetable contain goitrogens which can cause more harm with those suffering from thyroid disorders. Could you consider a video or article regarding this issue and any possible alternatives for those who want to add greens to their diet with this problem?

  12. I need referrals to sharp eye doctors. I will watch all videos that approach the puzzling topic of glaucoma that presents to people like me with IOP =10; the lowest number in the normal range. My VFL is 20% now. My cholesterol is quite high, overweight by 20 pounds; on a vegan diet for the last 4 months. I need real help, and advances to glaucoma research are paltry. Several catagories eye drops were of no benefit. The surgery suggested by my doctor is medieval, trabeculectomy, and only addresses IOP. My IOP can’t be any lower without destroying my vision now, versus waiting for blindness later. Thank you for reading about my problem.
    God bless you and your family. I wish you well.

  13. I need referrals to sharp eye doctors. I will watch all videos that approach the puzzling topic of glaucoma that presents to people like me with IOP =10; the lowest number in the normal range. My VFL is 20% now. My cholesterol is quite high, overweight by 20 pounds; on a vegan diet for the last 4 months. I need real help, and advances to glaucoma research are paltry. Several catagories eye drops were of no benefit. The surgery suggested by my doctor is medieval, trabeculectomy, and only addresses IOP. My IOP can’t be any lower without destroying my vision now, versus waiting for blindness later. Thank you for reading about my problem.
    God bless you and your family. I wish you well.

  14. Hi,
    I’m sorry about my English, I’m from Scandinavia and I am desperate for answers! I don’t know how to ask a question directly but it concerns my mother who has been diagnosed with glaucoma.
    My mother is 65-years-old. About two years ago she went through heart surgery because she had an expansion on an artery in her heart. She is recovered but suffers from occasional arrhythmia. She really tries to live healthy but recently she’s been diagnosed with glaucoma. Every day she needs to take extremely painful eyedrops, she seems to be losing more of her vision and is very afraid and in a lot of stress.
    Here is my question: We have recently transitioned to an allmost completely plant based diet, however she has read that the best diet for glaucoma contains animal products, particularly red steak, salmon and eggs. I don’t understand it and I’m scared for her health. I don’t know what’s true and what isn’t.
    Please, can you give your opinion? Is there any new research I can show her?
    Best regards

  15. I have several health issues/family history that are high risk for vision loss, so yesterday I was looking at quite a few of your vision-specific videos. I’m sure one of them mentioned calcium supplementation increased risk by up to 7 times, but I think I’ve just gone through all the videos again and couldn’t find that piece of information in any of them.

    I’d like to know which video it was, if possible, especially which sight condition it regarded, and, also…

    I wanted to ask if the calcium supplementation included fortified plant milks?

  16. Hi,

    My son who is 14 years old has a myopia (short-sightedness), diagnosed 2 years ago. he has some glasses but has never wear it. He doesn’t want to. To be able to read in his class he sat on the front. I am looking for a natural way to help him improve his eyes. I read on your website that eating a plant base diet, take some vitamin B12, eat collar greens and kale for the lutein and zeaxanthin, carrot and peach could help him.

    Do you think there is a chance for him to correct his vision and what should I do?

    Is it possible to buy lutein and zeaxanthin from a webside or a pharmacy?

    Thank you so much for your help and support.

  17. Anything is possible in this case. It all comes down to risk vs. benefit. Is there any risk to eating a whole food plant based diet? Nope, so go for it! Worse case scenario is that your son will be super healthy and fit. As far as buying the lutein and zeaxanthin? Don’t. There is not a single study that shows any benefits to supplements like this but plenty of studies that show increased disease risk with supplements. Prime examples are beta-carotene and lycopene which show decreased cancer risk when they are eaten in carrots and tomatoes, but increased cancer risk when these are eaten as supplements.

    Dr. Ben

  18. Hi, Bobbie. As I mentioned above, Dr. G. generally recommends getting nutrients “from produce, not pills.” Make sure you are eating plenty of colorful berries for their antioxidant content, and eat greens such as kale and collard greens with something that includes some fat, such as nuts and seeds. I hope that helps!

  19. I have been eating raw kale every day.

    This encourages me, because my great-grandmother went blind from glaucoma and I have blue eyes.

    Yikes about the calcium and iron supplements sextupling the risk of glaucoma. I have been taking calcium. Not iron.

    I have been eating raw kale every day, hooray that it is way more than twice a month, but I am concerned, because I had been eating broccoli, cauliflower and kale and sauerkraut, because I had cancer symptoms, and because I hadn’t been doing well at eating veggies at all before last Spring, but today, I just read that these foods could have caused my hypothyroid and could cause dental problems.

    Wondering if there are videos about that.

    I hate that!

  20. Hi Db- I’m Dr Anderson, a volunteer with Dr Greger. As for cruciferous vegetables, Dr G suggests a serving a day. Kale is actually a cruciferous vegetable (and of course a leafy green). So you may be getting what you need there. Here’s a video on his Daily Dozen advice: how much of what foods to include every day to reap the health benefits: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dr-gregers-daily-dozen-checklist/

    Sauerkraut is interesting. There are benefits to including some fermented foods in the diet. But foods may be fermented in different ways. Sauerkraut is generally fermented in a salt solution. While a small amount of occasional sauerkraut is probably fine, a large, daily amount may increase risk of stomach cancer thought related to the brining.

    Dr G has a video on the problem of *excessive* cruciferous vegetables blocking iodine absorption that can lead to goiter/underactive thyroid. Here it is: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/overdosing-on-greens/

    I hope this all helps!

  21. Excellent video !

    Thank you Dr. Greger.

    I would like to ask a few questions:
    1. In the video says to have “Green collards / kale: > 1 serving/wk”
    how many grammars is 1 serving ?

    2. In another video about eye vision we have seen that we need daily 10.000 mcg of lutein + zeaxanthin.
    Also, the video refers that “The lighter our eye color, the more greens we need”

    Does this mean that the threshold of 10.000 is not enough for people with blue eyes, and should we consume more lutein + zeaxanthin ?
    Or the threshold of 10.000mcg is adequate also for blueeyed people?

    3. finally, in the video is referred “Fresh carrot: 1 serving / wk”
    How many grammars is one serving of fresh carrot?

    Thank you very much for your time

    Best Regards

    1. I’m glad you found the “Greens v Glaucoma” video helpful. In answer to your questions about food and how much you might need to ensure you’re getting adequate lutein and zeaxanthin please check out this website: https://www.nutritionix.com/food/. This site suggested a serving size for carrots(raw), kale and collard greens was 1 cup each which works out to 36 grams for raw collard greens, 16 grams for kale and 120 grams for raw carrots. Here is a resource that should be helpful, although I could not find specific advice on the need to go beyond the threshold of 10,000mcg https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/lutein. Considering Dr Greger’s mention in this video that “Just two or three servings a month was associated with half the risk of glaucoma, compared to once a month or less” obtaining well over that amount by regularly eating more than that number of servings should be easy to do ensuring you’ll be getting adequate lutein and zeaxanthin, my blue-eyed commenter!

  22. For us vegans, almond milk purchased in stores is often fortified with tricalcium phosphate. Is drinking almond milk similar to taking calcium supplements? Perhaps I should say that I don’t drink cups of it — just add it to my chicory — though sometimes I do add a cup to baking. Should we no longer purchase almond milk if calcium supplementation raises the chances of future glaucoma? Does anyone know some brands of almond milk without added Calcium? Thank you for this very informative video!

  23. Almond milk does not come from a tree. It comes from a factory. Any time a plant is processed, it upsets the natural balance of nutrients that we evolved to eat. As an example, we did not spend the last 5 millions years evolving to eat things like tricalcium phosphate. On the other hand, we are perfectly adapted to eat almonds. Best to eat from plant to mouth, not factory to mouth. If you’re reading labels then you’re in the wrong aisle. Try shopping only in the produce section.

    Dr. Ben

          1. Another possibility is making the almond milk. Recipe 2 TBS smooth raw almond butter, 2 Cups water. Blend in a high speed blender. Chill and shake before using. Trader Joes offers a raw, unsalted almond butter. The only ingredient is raw almonds.

            1. That’s a good idea! I only made almond milk out of almonds, but the process is quite laborious. I’ve never tried making almond milk out of raw almond butter. Thanks for this helpful comment — I shall put my Vitamix to work today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This