Fact or fiction: Are carrots actually good for your eyes?
Vitamin A has one super-specific job
If you hated carrots as a kid, you probably got plenty of finger-wagging from various adults, all of whom had the same kernel of truth: you have to eat them, because they’re good for your eyes. But, like most things adults told you when you were a tyke, you probably disregarded it as a mythical mantra, mean to make you miserable, according to the blog Blisstree.
But it turns out, this one is totally true.
Carrots, as you probably already know, contain beta-Carotene, which, in the human body, functions as vitamin A. And unlike other vitamins, which help various part of the body, vitamin A pretty much has one super-specific job: to make your eyes work.
Vitamin A helps the eyes synthesize a metabolite called “retinal,” which is necessary for the function of your retinas. The retina, which is basically where images are imprinted, triggering the nerve reactions that turn light and color into actual visions. Without retinal, your eyes have a harder time correctly seeing color, and have more difficulty adjusting to low-light settings. You can even experience night-blindness, which is a common problem in Third World countries, due to vitamin A deficiency. So in these ways, carrots, which carry vitamin A, are great for your peepers.
Carrots can’t, however, help with other ocular troubles, such as nearsightedness. Nor can they restore the eyes if damage, like the kind you get from staring into the sun, has already been incurred.
And, of course, it’s not specific to carrots. Meats, leafy greens, and other foods that are rich in vitamin A are also helpful if you’re looking to give your vision a boost.