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Home » What's New » Eye Doctor Insight: Carrots and Vision

Eye Doctor Insight: Carrots and Vision

We have all been told that carrots help you see better, but is it the truth? Optometrists say that the orange vegetable can't actually improve your vision. However, carrots do contain substantial amounts of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for your eye health and therefore consuming carrots and other beta-carotene rich foods is clearly advised for maintaining eye health.

Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that changes into vitamin A once digested in the body. Vitamin A helps to protect the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been shown to prevent certain eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, a group of antioxidant compounds, guards the surface of the eye to decrease the frequency of eye infections as well as other infectious diseases. Vitamin A is also known to be a successful solution for dry eyes as well as other eye disorders. A lack of this important vitamin (which tends to exist more in underdeveloped countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to complete blindness.

Two types of vitamin A exist, which depend upon the food source from which they come. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal origin such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is produce-derived comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which break down to retinol after the nutrients are absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful produce particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.

It is proven that through most forms, vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes and your total health. Even though carrots can't fix optical distortion which causes vision impairments, grandma was right when she advised ''finish your vegetables.''