Dark green veggies show great promise in devastating disease

There aren’t many diseases more devastating than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or just ALS.

This condition causes your nerve cells to die, eventually incapacitating your entire body. In most cases, there’s no known cause. And in all cases, there’s no known cure.

But scientists may have discovered one way to delay the onset of ALS. And the simplicity of this strategy just might surprise you.

Eat more vegetables.

That’s right. As part of a recent analysis, Harvard researchers looked at data from more than five large-scale studies of more than one million people. They categorized subjects according to a number of dietary variables, including consumption of carotenoids, lycopene, and vitamin C.

Results showed that greater total carotenoid intake was linked to significantly lower ALS risk. And the link was especially strong in the case of beta-carotene and lutein–both of which are abundant in dark green veggies.

There are plenty of good reasons to frequent your local farmer’s market. But you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a better one than this.

“Intakes of vitamin C and carotenoids and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Pooled results from 5 cohort studies” Ann Neurol. 2012 Nov 26. doi: 10.1002/ana.23820. [Epub ahead of print]