We have all heard that carrots help you see better, but is it the truth? Eye care professionals know that carrots can't actually improve your eyesight. However, carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin that is very good for the health of your eyes and therefore consuming foods rich in this vitamin is clearly a recommendation for proper eye health.
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that changes into vitamin A once digested in the human body. Vitamin A helps to guard the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been shown to be preventative for a number of eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, guards the surface of the eye to reduce the risk of eye infections and 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 vitamin A (which tends to be more likely in poor and developing countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to complete blindness.
There are two types of vitamin A, which depend upon the nutritional source they come from. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal origin such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is derived from produce comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which convert to retinol after the nutrients are digested. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in colorful produce particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.
There is no question that vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes as well as your total health. Even though carrots themselves won't correct corneal refraction which causes near or far-sightedness, mother was right when she advised ''finish your vegetables.''