Are carrots really good for your eyesight? While optometrists admit that the orange root vegetables contain significant amounts of a beta-carotene which is known to be beneficial for your eyes, carrots can not replace suitable corrective eye care.
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that converts into vitamin A once absorbed in the body. Vitamin A helps to protect the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been determined to be preventative for various eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, protects the surface of the eye to decrease the risk of ocular infections and other infectious diseases. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective solution for dry eyes and other eye conditions. A deficiency of vitamin A (which is be more likely in underdeveloped countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can contribute to complete blindness.
Two variations of vitamin A exist, which relate to the food source they come from. Vitamin A originating from an animal is called Retinol and can be obtained from foods such as beef, chicken liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is produce-derived comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which convert to retinol after the food is absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in colorful produce such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.
There is no doubt that vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes as well as your overall health. Although carrots won't correct vision impairments, mother was right when she advised ''eat your vegetables.''