Something that is “good for your eyes” might be good in different ways. Carrots, for example, are frequently referred to as being “good for your eyes”. Now, being good for your eyes doesn’t necessarily mean “good for your vision“. Something that is good for your eyes might mean good for the “health” of your eyes. Carrots do nothing for your vision, that is, if you hoped to get rid of glasses and or contact lenses, but can be good for eye health. So where did this “old wives tale” come from?
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A — a crucial nutrient for maintaining proper eye health. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in the Third World. But if you’re not deficient in vitamin A, your vision won’t improve no matter how many carrots or other beta-carotene-rich fruits and vegetables you eat. The type of blindness that results from Vitamin A deficiency is not correctable with glasses or contacts, it is an organic deficiency that is irreversible.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness. While Vitamin A deficiency is serious, it is rare in western civilization. Diets that are low in dark green, yellow or orange vegetables are more susceptible, however many of our foods are fortified with some type of Vitamin A, so even in diets that are lean in these vegetables it is still probably one is getting the appropriate amount of Vitamin A in their diet.
Vegetables that are dark green, such as spinach and kale have much more vitamin A than carrots, but somehow the legend revolved around Carrots.
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Courtesy of the doctors at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians serving Rockville, Potomac and Gaithersburg, Maryland. For an appointment please call (301) 670-1212
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