Can carrots really enhance your eyesight? While optometrists affirm that carrots contain large amounts of a vitamin that has proven to be very good for one's eyes, eating large amounts of carrots will not substitute for visual aids.
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that converts into vitamin A once digested in the human body. Vitamin A strengthens the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been proven to prevent various eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, protects the cornea to decrease the frequency of eye infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful solution for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye disorders. A deficiency of this important vitamin (which is be more common in poor and developing 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 obtained from foods such as beef, liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is fruit and vegetable-derived exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which are converted to retinol after the nutrients are absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.
There is no doubt that vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes as well as your overall well being. Even though carrots won't correct optical distortion which causes near or far-sightedness, grandma had it right when she said ''eat your vegetables.''