We have all been told that carrots improve night vision, but is it the truth? Eye care professionals say that carrots can't prevent you from needing eye glasses. However, carrots do contain significant amounts of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for the health of your eyes and therefore consuming carrots and other beta-carotene rich foods is clearly a recommendation for proper eye health.
Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that converts into vitamin A once digested in the human body. Vitamin A helps to guard the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been determined to prevent a number of eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, protects the cornea to reduce the frequency of eye infections and other infectious diseases. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective treatment for dry eyes as well as other eye conditions. A deficiency of vitamin A (which tends to be more common in underdeveloped countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can contribute to blindness.
There are two types of vitamin A, which depend upon the food 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 obtained from fruits and vegetables comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which are converted to retinol after the food is absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in colorful produce particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.
It is proven that vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes and your total health. Although carrots themselves can't correct corneal refraction which causes near or far-sightedness, grandma was right when she said ''finish your carrots.''