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Do Carrots Really Improve your Eye Health?

You may have been told that carrots help you see better, but is it really true? Eye doctors know that regardless of how many carrots you eat, they can't save you from needing eye glasses. However, they do provide significant quantities of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for the health of your eyes and therefore consuming foods rich in beta-carotene is clearly advised for proper eye health.

Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that changes into vitamin A after it's digested in the body. Vitamin A strengthens the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been proven to prevent a number of eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, a group of antioxidant compounds, guards the cornea to reduce the risk of eye infections and other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective treatment for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye disorders. A lack of this important vitamin (which tends to be more likely in underdeveloped countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to total blindness.

There are two forms of vitamin A, which depend upon the nutritional source from which they come. Vitamin A originating from an animal is called Retinol and can be found in foods such as beef, liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is fruit and vegetable-derived comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which convert 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 vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes and your overall well being. Even though carrots themselves won't correct corneal refraction which causes vision impairments, grandma was right when she advised ''finish your vegetables.''