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Home » News and Events » The Optometrist Recommends: Eat Carrots for Healthy Eyes

The Optometrist Recommends: Eat Carrots for Healthy Eyes

You may have heard that carrots improve your vision, but is this the truth? Optometrists know that carrots can't actually improve your vision. However, they are rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for your eye health and therefore eating foods rich in this vitamin is clearly a recommendation for ensuring eye health.

Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that converts into vitamin A after it's absorbed in the body. Vitamin A strengthens the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been proven to be preventative for a number of eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, guards the cornea to reduce the frequency of eye infections as well as other infectious diseases. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective solution for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye conditions. A lack of vitamin A (which tends to exist more in underdeveloped countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can contribute to complete blindness.

There are two types of vitamin A, which relate to the food source they come from. Retinol is vitamin A that comes from an animal origin such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is produce-derived exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which convert to retinol after the nutrients are digested. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful produce such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.

It is proven that vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes and your total health. Although carrots won't fix vision impairments, mother had it right when she said ''eat your vegetables.''