We have all been told that carrots improve night vision, but is it really true? Optometrists say that the orange vegetable can't prevent you from needing eye glasses. However, carrots do provide significant amounts of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is very good for your eye health and therefore eating carrots and other beta-carotene rich foods is definitely recommended for proper eye health.
Beta-carotene is an orange colored pigment (carotenoid) that changes into vitamin A once digested in the human body. Vitamin A helps to guard the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been shown to be preventative for a number of eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, protects the cornea to decrease the risk of ocular infections as well as other infectious diseases. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful solution for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye conditions. A lack of this important vitamin (which tends to exist more in poor and developing countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to blindness.
There are two forms of vitamin A, which relate to the nutritional source from which they come. Vitamin A originating from an animal is called Retinol and can be obtained from foods such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is derived from fruits and vegetables 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 particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.
There is no doubt that through most forms, vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes and your total health. Although carrots can't fix near or far-sightedness, mother had it right when she said ''finish your vegetables.''