We have all heard that carrots improve night vision, but is it really true? Eye doctors will tell you that carrots can't actually improve your eyesight. However, carrots do provide large amounts of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is very good for the health of your eyes and therefore ingesting carrots and other beta-carotene rich foods is clearly recommended for maintaining eye health.
Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that changes into vitamin A after it's absorbed 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 macular degeneration. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, protects the surface of the eye to reduce the risk of ocular infections and other infectious diseases. Vitamin A is also known to be a successful solution for dry eyes and other eye disorders. A deficiency of this important vitamin (which tends to be more common in poor and developing 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 food source from which they come. Vitamin A derived from an animal is called Retinol and can be found in foods such as beef, liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is derived from fruits and vegetables comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which are converted to retinol after the nutrients are digested. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful produce 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 overall well being. Even though carrots themselves won't correct near or far-sightedness, grandma was right when she advised ''eat your vegetables.''