Remember how your mother always used to make you eat carrots in order for you to see better? True or false? First of all, mom was kinda fibbing just to get you to eat em’, because carrots can neither improve eyesight nor give a blind person back their vision. Carrots contain beta-carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A—a crucial nutrient for maintaining your eye’s health.
· Carrots are rich in a beta-carotenoid—a pigment also found in many orange colored fruits and veggies. This pigment is important for your body to convert it to Vitamin A—a deficiency of which can lead to blindness.
· Vitamin A deficiencies can also lead to xerophthalmia—where your eyes become dry and cannot produce tears.
· Vitamin A can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration—damage to your retina resulting in a loss of seeing things in the center of your vision’s field.
· Other orange-colored fruits and vegetables containing beta-carotene, which your eyes love, are apricots, cantaloupes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.
· Carrots also contain lutein, and antioxidant which increases the density of your macula or the yellow oval shaped area near the center of your retina. This increased density decreases your risks for macular degeneration. In addition to carrots, dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and Swiss chard contain lutein.
Keep in mind that a diet rich in carrots and Vitamin A can help to maintain your eyes’ health. However, if your eyesight problems are not related to a lack of Vitamin A, your vision will not improve no matter how many carrots you eat.
FYI: Don’t eat either too many carrots or orange colored fruits and veggies else your skin will actually turn orange! Yes, it’s all that beta-carotene doing it. If this harmless side effect occurs, consult with your doctor and then make sure your diet is more balanced.
Lisa DeFazio’s a leading nutrition expert and a Master’s degree level Registered Dietitian, so be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter for more tips and videos — and if U wanna know more about carrots OR anything else, U can always email us at Questions@FitPerez.com!!