We have all heard that carrots improve night vision, but is it the truth? Optometrists will tell you that carrots can't save you from needing eye glasses. However, carrots do provide substantial amounts of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for your eye health and therefore ingesting foods rich in this vitamin is clearly advised for ensuring eye health.
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that converts into vitamin A after it's absorbed in the body. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been determined to prevent various eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, a group of antioxidant compounds, guards the cornea to reduce the frequency of ocular infections and other infectious diseases. Vitamin A is also known to be an effective solution for dry eye syndrome and other eye disorders. A deficiency of vitamin A (which tends to be more common in poor and developing countries) is known to cause 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 from which they come. Vitamin A derived from an animal is called Retinol and can be found in foods such as beef, 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 fruits and vegetables such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.
There is no question that through most forms, vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes as well as your overall well being. Although carrots can't fix vision impairments, grandma had it right when she advised ''eat your carrots.''