Sangeetha Pulapaka

Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes!” Now there’s a sentence that has been etched in many a childhood memory. But can carrots, which are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, really have an impact on the health of your eyes? Was Mom right?

Beta-carotene is mostly found in foods of vegetable origin, such as yellow-orange and dark-green fruits and vegetables:

  • carrots;
  • spinach;
  • lettuce;
  • cabbage;
  • broccoli;
  • squash;
  • sweet potato;
  • papaya;
  • raspberries;
  • mango;

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid. Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments found in plants, and are largely responsible for the vibrant colors of some fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene, for example, is responsible for giving carrots their orange color. Once ingested, beta-carotene is either converted into VITAMIN A (retinol), which the body can use in a variety of ways, or it acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells from the damaging effects of harmful free radicals. As much as 50 percent of vitamin A in a typical diet is provided by beta-carotene and other carotenoids. Beta-carotene is considered an antioxidant and is also a precursor to vitamin A. This compound helps maintain healthy skin and also plays a vital role in eye health. Individuals who consume the necessary levels of beta-carotene can lower their risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, macular degeneration, and other age-related diseases.

Vitamin A deficiency is fortunately rare in industrialized nations, but is all too common in developing countries, where it is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children according to the World Health Organization. Indicators include night blindness, hair loss, skin irritation and dry or inflamed eyes. The diagnosis is usually considered on the appearance of clinical indicators, and blood testing for vitamin A deficiency can be performed.

So, guess what? Mom was right! Here is a link to more information about this.

Ramanath Parimi


Carrots are one of the essential healthy foods out there. It will help our eyes in different ways -

Vitamin A

Carrots are prime resources for vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for our eye vision.  Lack of this vitamin is the primary reason for common eye diseases we see today [1] -

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration and
  • Xerophthalmia

Even though there are other sources for this vitamin such as fortified rice, amaranth leaf and  goat liver, consuming carrots proved to be best supplement of all. There are studies reported by Scientific American [2] which say that eating cooked carrots regularly for six weeks improved the response for darkness i.e., clear vision.


Along with vitamin A, carrots also contain something called as Lutein which is an important antioxidant. This substance will help increase the density of pigment in our eye, which is  at the oval area in the centre of our retina. The more the density of pigment in the macula, the more our retina gets protected. This will decrease the changes of occurring macular degeneration.

Although carrots cannot cure all diseases that happen to our eyes, they will surely make them healthy.

Tell me, do you like carrots?