You may have been told that carrots help you see better, but is it the truth? Eye doctors say that regardless of how many carrots you eat, they can't prevent you from needing eye glasses. However, they are rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for your eye health and therefore consuming foods rich in beta-carotene is definitely advised for proper eye health.
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that changes into vitamin A once absorbed in the human body. Vitamin A strengthens the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been shown to prevent a number of eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, guards the cornea to reduce the frequency of ocular infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful treatment for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye conditions. A lack of this important vitamin (which tends to be more likely in poor and developing countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to total blindness.
There are two variations of vitamin A, which relate to the nutritional source they come from. Vitamin A originating from an animal is called Retinol and can be obtained from foods such as beef, liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is fruit and vegetable-derived exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which convert to retinol after the food is absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful fruits and vegetables such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.
It is proven that through most forms, vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes as well as your total well being. Although carrots themselves won't correct near or far-sightedness, grandma had it right when she advised ''finish your carrots.''
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