Do carrots really enhance vision? While eye care professionals admit that the orange root vegetables contain significant quantities of a beta-carotene which is known to be very good for your eyes, ingesting enormous quantities of the healthy vegetable will not substitute for visual aids.
Beta-carotene is an orange colored pigment (carotenoid) that converts into vitamin A after it's absorbed in the body. Vitamin A protects the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been proven to prevent a number of eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, a group of antioxidant compounds, guards the cornea to reduce the risk of ocular infections as well as other infectious diseases. Vitamin A is also known to be an effective treatment for dry eye syndrome and other eye disorders. A deficiency of this important vitamin (which tends to be more likely in poor and developing countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to blindness.
There are two forms of vitamin A, which depend upon the food source they come from. Vitamin A derived from an animal is called Retinol and can be obtained from foods such as beef, chicken liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is obtained from produce exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which break down to retinol after the nutrients are digested. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.
There is no doubt that through most forms, vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes and your total well being. Even though carrots won't fix corneal refraction which causes vision impairments, mother was right when she advised ''eat your vegetables.''