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Do Carrots Really Improve your Eye Health?

Do carrots really improve your vision? While eye doctors admit that the orange root vegetables are made up of significant amounts of a vitamin which is known to be beneficial for one's eyes, ingesting enormous quantities of carrots will not eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses.

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that changes into vitamin A after it's digested in the body. Vitamin A helps to protect the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been proven to prevent a number of 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 frequency of eye infections and other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A is also known to be an effective solution for dry eye syndrome and other eye conditions. A lack of this important vitamin (which is be more common in poor and developing countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can contribute to total blindness.

Two forms of vitamin A exist, which depend upon the nutritional source from which they come. Vitamin A derived from an animal is called Retinol and can be found in foods such as beef, liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is derived 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 particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.

There is no doubt that vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes as well as your overall health. Although carrots themselves won't correct corneal refraction which causes near or far-sightedness, grandma had it right when she advised ''finish your vegetables.''

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