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Do Carrots Really Improve your Eyesight?

Are carrots beneficial for eyesight? While eye care professionals affirm that carrots contain large amounts of a beta-carotene that has proven to be beneficial for one's eyes, ingesting a lot of carrots will not substitute for glasses or contact lenses.

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that changes into vitamin A after it's absorbed in the human body. Vitamin A helps to guard the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been proven to be preventative for certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, guards the surface of the eye to decrease the frequency of ocular infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective treatment for dry eyes and other eye disorders. A lack of vitamin A (which tends to exist more in underdeveloped 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 nutritional source they come from. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal origin such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is derived from fruits and vegetables comes 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 is beneficial to your eyes as well as your total well being. Even though carrots won't fix near or far-sightedness, mother was right when she advised ''eat your vegetables.''