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The Eye Doctor Recommends: Eat Beta-Carotene for Healthy Eyes

Are carrots good for eyesight? While optometrists affirm that carrots are made up of significant quantities of a vitamin that has proven to be very good for your eyes, carrots can not replace suitable corrective eye care.

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 prevent certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, protects the surface of the eye to decrease the risk of ocular infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful solution for dry eye syndrome and other eye conditions. A deficiency of this important vitamin (which tends to exist more in poor and developing 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 depend upon the nutritional 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 are converted to retinol after the food is 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 question that vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes as well as your overall well being. Although carrots themselves won't correct optical distortion which causes near or far-sightedness, grandma had it right when she said ''finish your vegetables.''


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