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The Truth About the Vision Benefits of Eating Carrots


Do carrots really improve vision? While eye doctors admit that carrots are made up of significant quantities of a beta-carotene that has proven to be beneficial for your eyes, ingesting large amounts of the healthy vegetable will not eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses.

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that converts into vitamin A after it's absorbed in the human body. Vitamin A strengthens the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been proven to prevent certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, guards the cornea to reduce the frequency of ocular infections and other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A is also known to be a successful treatment for dry eyes and other eye disorders. A lack of this important vitamin (which tends to be more likely in underdeveloped countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to complete blindness.

Two variations of vitamin A exist, which depend upon the nutritional 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 obtained from fruits and vegetables comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which are converted 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.

It is proven that through most forms, vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes and your overall health. Although carrots themselves can't fix near or far-sightedness, grandma had it right when she advised ''eat your carrots.''