At some point in your life, you may have read something or heard someone say that carrots improve your eyesight. Is it true?
One thing is certain: You want to maintain good eye health. You might take your eyes for granted, but what would you do without your sight? If you notice a sudden change or any unsettling symptom in your eyes, Stephen Khachikian, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist in Rapid City, South Dakota, provides expert treatment that restores your eyes to optimal health.
Here, we delve into whether the folk remedy about eating carrots has a basis in truth.
The role of vitamin A in eye health
Can carrots improve your eyesight? That folk wisdom has a basis in truth, but a more accurate statement would be that it’s important to eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to maintain good eye health and overall health.
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in the formation and maintenance of your body’s organs, including your eyes. This vitamin is also an essential component of rhodopsin, a light-sensitive protein in your retina.
Vitamin A also supports your cornea and conjunctival membranes. Those membranes help protect your cornea from getting an infection and provide the right environment for the cornea to stay healthy. Your cornea is a critical part of your eye structure; it helps you focus your eyes.
Carrots contain healthy amounts of vitamin A. However, many other foods contain high levels of vitamin A — such as spinach and tuna — so carrots aren’t your only good choices.
Eye problems related to insufficient vitamin A
Eye problems can develop if you’re not getting enough vitamin A.
You may not realize that the leading cause of preventable blindness in children around the world is a lack of nutrients, including vitamin A.
Do you have dry eyes? Dry eyes can be a sign of vitamin A deficiency. This vitamin may be included in your eye drops if you have a prescription for the issue.
Do you have trouble seeing the road at night? A lack of vitamin A might be part of the reason. Of course, your genetics play a part too. Studies show that vitamin A supplementation helps improve this condition.
Good sources of vitamin A
Sources of vitamin A abound in the American diet. These are just some foods with high levels of vitamin A:
- Vegetables: carrots, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, broccoli, butternut squash, red peppers
- Pistachio nuts
Other compounds essential to the eye include the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. If you eat a balanced diet, you should be receiving all the nutrients you need for healthy eyes.
For expert eye care, call Stephen Khachikian, MD, or book an appointment online. We can help you see more clearly.