The different effects that carrots can have on your vision and your eyes.
As kids, there was nothing worse than sitting down for a delicious dinner, only to find that a heaping pile of vegetables had overtaken your plate. Whether there was a certain veggie that you simply couldn’t stand―peas, broccoli, asparagus, green beans―or you were totally against these green, leafy vegetables all together, you knew there was no chance of leaving the dinner table until each and every one of these veggies had been gobbled up.
To help fight against our childhood anti-vegetable rebellion, our parents would often tell us that eating our veggies would not only help us to grow up healthy and happy, but they could also improve certain body functions. For instance, kids who hoped to grow up big and strong would silently gobble down their spinach in hopes of one day looking like Popeye―the spokesperson for why every child should give spinach a chance. For many other kids, whether you had been in glasses all your life or had perfect 20/20 vision, carrots were always known has the miracle veggie that would improve your eyesight once and for all.
However, it wasn’t until we were older and had grown out of our anti-vegetable phase (or, at least some of us had) that we began to question whether or not these clever adages our parents shared were actually true.
While carrots do pack a beneficial punch when it comes to nutrient content and eye health, these tasty orange veggies alone will not improve your vision. Instead, the nutrients in carrots may play a part in helping to prevent certain damaging eye conditions and optimize your genetic potential in eye health. To give you a better idea of how these classic veggies effect your eyes, we have put together a few different ways in which carrots work to improve your vision:
Reduce the Impact of Vision Diseases
Carrots contain many different vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin A, C and E, that can reduce the impact of dangerous eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Carrots also have one if the highest amounts of vitamin A in any kind of vegetable, which makes it helpful for people who have vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in developing countries, with between 250,000 and 500,000 children going blind from the disease each year.
Promote Healthy Vision
One of the best ways to keep your vision healthy over time is a strong, consistent healthy diet. Developing good eating habits, as well as maintaining proper levels of important vitamins, will help lower risk of serious vision-related problems in the future. The nutrient most responsible for eye health in carrot, called beta-carotene, is a carotenoid. Carotenoids turn into a usable form of vitamin A called retinol in the body after ingestion. Retinol is one type of vitamin A, a group of compounds that act as antioxidants, that removes damaging free radicals from the cells of the eyes and other parts of the body.
Decreases Vision Loss
Whenever you ear carrots, you are taking in a good amount of beta-carotene. This beta-carotene then goes into the liver, where it is converted into another form of vitamin A. It then goes into the eye and coverts to a pigment called rhodopsin. This pigment in particular changes any light that enters your eye into an electrical impulse, which the brain converts into vision. Because beta-carotene is needed to produce vitamin A, a lack of beta-carotene such as is found in carrots, can lead to vision loss in low light conditions.