Hi, guys! I am here to share with you about carrot, which is among the top three foods that I hate the most, besides bitter gourd and shellfish. I always try to remove every slice of carrot in my food while my mom is nagging on how carrot can improve my eyesight. Based on her explanation, I have long-sightedness and bad eye sight so carrot is definitely one of the important vegetable that I need to consume. There she goes piling up carrots on my plate. I believe most of you have heard about a statement saying that eating carrot is good for your eyes.
Well, under certain condition, the consumption of carrot or specifically beta-carotene in carrot will help us to improve eyesight, especially night vision. Our body uses beta-carotene to make vitamin A that helps the eyes to convert the light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain, allowing people to see under conditions of dim light. Moreover, our cornea can literally disappear if the body is lacking of vitamin A. It is estimated that 250,000 to 500,000 children become blind annually due to vitamin A deficiency.
There are six milligrams of beta carotene in one large carrot that is equivalent to 10,000 units of vitamin A activity. However, with that amount of beta-carotene in each carrot, just imagine exactly how many carrots a person need to consume for better night vision. A randomized control study in 2005 examined how consumption of roughly 127 g of cooked carrots six days a week stacked up against other vitamin A–rich options such as fortified rice, amaranth leaf and goat liver for helping address night blindness in pregnant women. All the food performed roughly the same while the vitamin A supplement did best of all. The study found that maintaining the diet for six weeks can finally bring the pregnant woman‘s response to darkness back to normal level. Most studies have so far looked at the benefits of those beta-carotene or vitamin A supplements, not carrots specifically. Other research has shown that beta-carotene does not convert into vitamin A very efficiently since it requires about 12 to 21 molecules of beta-carotene in the diet to make just one molecule of vitamin A. If you are aiming to improve your eyesight, it would be better off taking vitamin A supplements, if possible, instead of carrots.
Besides, beta-carotene will no longer be converted into vitamin A if your body already have enough beta-carotene. Our body regulates against the excess amounts of vitamin A to prevent accumulation of toxic. If a person eats too many carrots, his or her skin may turns a bit orange, which is just a harmless symptom that is not a health concern. For your information, most eye problems are due to vision-impairment caused by genetics, aging or diabetes which cannot be aided with intake of beta-carotene.
In conclusion, when it comes to eating food for improving eyesight, you are suggested to take green, leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale or collard greens. Those two are rich with lutein and zeaxanthin that could help protect your eyes by filtering high-energy wavelengths of visible light that can damage the retina. In addition, they help to protect against age-related macular degeneration, the major cause of blindness in the elderly ( I am not trying to avoid eating carrot!!).