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Carrots and Vision

The Optometrist Recommends: Eat Carrots for Eye Health

Are carrots beneficial for your vision? While eye care professionals affirm that the orange root vegetables contain large amounts of a beta-carotene that has proven to be very good for your eyes, eating large amounts of carrots will not eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses.

Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that converts into vitamin A after it’s digested in the body. Vitamin A helps to guard the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been proven to be preventative for certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, a group of antioxidant compounds, guards the cornea to reduce the frequency of ocular infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective treatment for dry eyes as well as other eye disorders. A deficiency of vitamin A (which is be more common in underdeveloped countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to total blindness.

There are two variations of vitamin A, which depend upon the nutritional source they come from. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal origin such as beef, chicken 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 food is 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 vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes and your overall health. Although carrots themselves won’t correct near or far-sightedness, mother had it right when she advised ”eat your carrots.”