If you had a dime for every time you heard that carrots are good for your eyes, you’d have a nice bag of chump-change, right? Well, is it true? And if so, what is it about carrots that make them so special?
Believe it or not, it is true! Well, kinda. Carrots, and we’re talking about the orange ones, not the weird white and purple ones you find at the local organic market in Creve Coeur, cannot improve or repair eyesight (unless you're severely malnourished), but it can help keep your eyes healthy. They have beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A, and lutein, which is an antioxidant. Your body absorbs vitamins best when eaten from real food sources than from taking it in pill form. Vitamin A will help prevent blindness, macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye diseases. By the way, if you’re not a carrot fan, you can also get your source of vitamin A from other foods like sweet potato, butternut squash, spinach and liver.
As for the lutein, it will help protect your retina, also decreasing the risk of macular degeneration in the years to come.
But carrots are not the only form of supplying your body with what it needs for healthy eyes. Proper nutrition is imperative, in fact. Eat foods or take supplements that also add Omega-3, Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and zeaxanthin, which also help prevent a wide range of eye diseases. You should also stay away from eating junk food and sugar, and exercise regularly, to prevent complications from diabetes which can cause severe vision loss.
In addition, be sure to protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays with high quality sunglasses that specifically say that they provide 100% UVA and UVB protection, and are not just polarized.
Thank you for visiting Midwest Eye Associates.