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The Facts About the Eye Health Benefits of Eating Carrots

We have all heard that carrots improve night vision, but is this really true? Eye care professionals will tell you that carrots can't prevent you from needing eye glasses. However, they are rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin that is very good for your eye health and therefore ingesting foods rich in beta-carotene is surely advised for proper eye health.

Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that converts into vitamin A once digested in the body. Vitamin A helps to protect the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been determined to be preventative for certain eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, a group of antioxidant compounds, guards the cornea to decrease the frequency of eye infections as well as other infectious diseases. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful solution for dry eyes as well as other eye disorders. A lack of this important vitamin (which tends to exist more in underdeveloped countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to blindness.

There are two variations of vitamin A, which relate to the food source from which they come. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal source such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is fruit and vegetable-derived exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which break down 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 through most forms, vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes and your total well being. Although carrots themselves can't correct near or far-sightedness, mother had it right when she advised ''finish your vegetables.''