Since we were children we have heard that carrots improve our eyesight, but is this belief just a myth or is it a reality? You’ve come to the right place to clear up any doubts! It turns out that this vegetable has protective properties of vision because it is rich in beta-carotene,a substance that the body transforms into vitamin A and helps prevent blindness, macular degeneration, cataracts, among other diseases.
Vitamin A also strengthens the function of the eye’s photoreceptors, which are important for seeing at night or in low light conditions; not to mention that it is necessary for the skin, keeps the bowel and urinary tract healthy, and helps keep infections away.
In other words, it’s not that carrots improve your eyesight, correct refractive errors – such as myopia – or that eating carrots every day will automatically give you perfect 20/20 vision. No. This is a myth. What is true is that it will strengthen eye health, protect the eyes and their function, thus preventing the onset of diseases that affect visual acuity.. Keep in mind that a vitamin A deficiency would be fatal, but taking vitamin A supplements in excess would trigger severe consequences.
Whether in salad, mashed, in the form of sticks for snacks, in smoothies, soup or pudding, this vegetable is an ally of the eyes, the body in general and the kitchen for its versatility, smell and texture. There are some who prefer it raw because they claim that the nutrients are better absorbed; however, it is proven that cooked or uncooked it does not provide vitamins and minerals.
How carrots protect your eyesight?
The beta-carotene it contains in high levels is a carotenoid that the body gradually transforms into vitamin A, necessary to maintain good eye health and prevent eye diseases such as cataracts, xerophthalmia or dry eye and macular degeneration product of age.
This vitamin is also known as retinol and is important for the light-receptive nerve cells located in the retina of the eye to be able to activate in dark or low light conditions and keep night blindness at bay. The presence of rhodopsin, a purple pigment in the plant, also aids the process of night vision.
Other compounds beneficial to visual function are vitamin C and E, which are present in the vegetable and work as antioxidants to prevent diseases or infections that damage the eye.
We can not forget an important element for the eyes that provides the carrot, it is lutein, an antioxidant that absorbs UV rays preventing cataracts are formed, in addition to helping to maintain eye functions in good condition.
The colors of food say a lot about the nutrients they have, you see how this vegetable with its intense orange is rich in vitamins A, C, E and lutein, although spinach, cabbage, greens in general, orange, papaya, pumpkin and other yellow vegetables are also good for the view. Eating colorful food is good for your health.
Can I eat carrots every day?
The answer is yes, eating carrots on a daily basis does not represent a health risk; however, we warn that if you consume high quantities your skin will start to turn yellowish, especially on the soles of your feet and hands. This condition is called carotenosis and is produced by the carotenoids contained in the vegetable, which give it its pigmentation.
Now, what can be toxic to the body are beta-carotene or vitamin A supplements if you consume them in high doses and for a long time, these are widely used in treatments for severe acne. They may trigger rashes, hair loss, dry, wrinkled, or cracked skin.
Internally it causes headaches, bone or joint pain, weakness, liver damage, enlarged spleen, genetic defects in the fetus, poisoning of the infant and increases the risk of cancer. In the specific case of children it causes loss of appetite, growth retardation, vomiting, endocranial pressure.
What happens if there is vitamin A deficiency?
A deficiency of vitamin A is a negative thing for the body because it leaves entrance to diseases such as cataracts, xerophthalmia, macular degeneration, thickening, erosions or opacity of the cornea. It may also affect children’s growth, immune system, skin health, urinary tract, and respiratory system.
Other foods you can consume to ensure adequate intake of this vitamin are: milk, cream, butter, egg yolks, cereals, liver, fruits such as papaya or orange, vegetables such as chard, spinach or cabbage.