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The Truth About the Eye Health Benefits of Eating Carrots

Do carrots really improve your vision? While optometrists admit that carrots contain significant amounts of a vitamin that has proven to be beneficial for your eyes, eating enormous quantities of carrots will not substitute for visual aids.

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that changes into vitamin A once digested in the body. Vitamin A helps to protect the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been shown to be preventative for certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, guards the cornea to decrease the frequency of eye infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective solution for dry eye syndrome and other eye disorders. A deficiency of vitamin A (which tends to be more likely in underdeveloped countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to blindness.

There are two forms of vitamin A, which relate to the food source they come from. Vitamin A derived from an animal is called Retinol and can be found in foods such as beef, liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is fruit and vegetable-derived comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which convert to retinol after the nutrients are absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.

There is no question that through most forms, vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes as well as your overall well being. Even though carrots themselves can't fix optical distortion which causes near or far-sightedness, grandma was right when she advised ''finish your carrots.''


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