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Do Carrots Really Improve your Eye Health?

You may have heard that carrots improve your vision, but is it really true? Eye care professionals will tell you that regardless of how many carrots you eat, they can't prevent you from needing eye glasses. However, carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin that is very good for your eye health and therefore consuming carrots and other beta-carotene rich foods is clearly a recommendation for proper eye health.

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that changes into vitamin A after it's digested in the human body. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been determined to prevent a number of eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, guards the cornea to decrease the frequency of ocular infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective solution for dry eyes as well as other eye disorders. A lack of vitamin A (which tends to exist more in underdeveloped countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to complete blindness.

Two types of vitamin A exist, which relate to the nutritional source they come from. Vitamin A originating from an animal is called Retinol and can be found in foods such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is derived from produce exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which break down to retinol after the food is absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful fruits and vegetables particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.

It is proven that through most forms, vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes as well as your overall well being. Although carrots themselves won't fix optical distortion which causes vision impairments, grandma was right when she said ''eat your carrots.''