We have all heard that carrots improve your vision, but is it really true? Optometrists know that carrots can't actually improve your vision. However, they do contain significant amounts of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for your eye health and therefore ingesting foods rich in this vitamin is definitely a recommendation for ensuring eye health.
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that changes into vitamin A after it's absorbed in the body. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been shown to be preventative for various eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, a group of antioxidant compounds, protects the surface of the eye to decrease the frequency of eye infections as well as other infectious diseases. Vitamin A is also known to be an effective treatment for dry eyes and 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 contribute to complete blindness.
There are two forms of vitamin A, which depend upon the food source from which they come. Retinol is vitamin A that comes from an animal source such as beef, chicken liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is produce-derived comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which are converted to retinol after the food is absorbed. 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 is beneficial to your eyes and your overall health. Although carrots themselves won't correct corneal refraction which causes vision impairments, grandma had it right when she said ''eat your vegetables.''