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The Facts About the Eye Health Benefits of Eating Carrots

We have all heard that carrots help you see better, but is this the truth? Optometrists will tell you that the orange vegetable can't prevent you from needing eye glasses. However, they are rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for your eye health and therefore ingesting foods rich in this vitamin is clearly 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 human body. Vitamin A guards the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been proven to prevent a number of eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, guards the cornea to reduce the risk of eye infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A is also known to be a successful treatment for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye disorders. A deficiency of vitamin A (which is be more common in poor and developing countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to blindness.

There are two types of vitamin A, which relate to the food source from which they come. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal origin such as beef, chicken liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is obtained from produce comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which are converted to retinol after the nutrients are digested. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in 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 overall health. Although carrots themselves can't fix near or far-sightedness, grandma had it right when she advised ''eat your carrots.''