ARE CARROTS REALLY GOOD FOR YOUR EYES?

Dr. Jim Martin 01/28/2015

Close_Up_of_Eye_-_Black_Women_-_Brown_Eye.jpgYou've probably heard that carrots support eye health and can even improve vision. This is essentially true. But this broad fact isn't without some finer details.

What Is The Carrot-Eyesight Connection?

Carrots contain a pigment called beta-carotene, which gives them their signature color. Beta-carotene nourishes your eyes, but only after your body has first converted it to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to maintain the cornea, the dome-shaped, transparent window that covers the front of the eye. It also enables your eyes to convert light into signals that can help you to see in low-light conditions, even during blackouts.

The U.K. Ministry of Food once attributed the successes of the British Air Force's night missions during WWII to their pilots' diet rich in carrots. The agency, since disbanded, used this idea to promote the consumption of locally grown carrots for the benefit of civilians' eye health. Today, eating locally grown carrots is still a good idea: good for your eyes and the economy in your neck of the woods.

Eat Your Veggies, Especially Carrots

Your body requires 12 to 21 molecules of beta-carotene to manufacture at least one molecule of vitamin A. Your intestinal walls are the sites where this manufacturing takes place. How many carrots would you need to eat to achieve this goal? 4.5 ounces daily, or 1.5 medium carrots daily, or a large side of carrots at two meals everyday.

Other Eye Nutrients And Their Sources

Your eyes love nutritional diversity, so don't forget to consumes lots of leafy green vegetables and yellow carrots, too. These not only provide beta-carotoene, but other carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein absorbs blue light, which can be harmful to the eye. Zeaxanthin gives saffron its color and fragrance and also occurs in kale, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, corn, and eggs.

See Your Eye Doctor

An eye exam is the most effective way to secure eye health and address any concerns long before they become problems. For your growing children, healthy eyes are essential to their overall success. For adults and aging eyes, attention to eye health and proper prevention can eliminate age-related eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and dry eye syndrome.

For more information about eye health, eye exams, or any services we provide, contact Broome Optical in Amarillo today.

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