Carrots can help protect vision, not improve

In a recent survey among eyecare providers, nearly 30 percent hear the following question at least once a week: Will eating carrots really improve my vision?  

We're not quite sure if it was Bugs Bunny or Peter Cottontail spreading these types of rumors, but VSP Vision Care has enlisted the help of Bill Nye the Science Guy to debunk common eye myths in the latest webisode of VSP EyeFiles(SM).

Here's the truth: eating carrots won't improve your vision, but carrots are packed with important vitamins and nutrients that can help protect vision.  Foods, like carrots, that contain vitamin A, C and E have been shown to reduce the impact of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Lutein, zeaxanthin and minerals like zinc, copper and selenium can help protect the retina – the light sensitive part of the back of the eye. And special fatty acids – usually found in fish not only may help protect the retina, but have been shown to benefit the eyes ability to maintain a film of moist tears, protecting the eyes.

"One of the keys to keeping your vision healthy is an overall healthy diet. Developing good eating habits and a balanced diet to maintain proper levels of the important vitamins A, C, E as well as lutein and zinc such as are found in fruits and vegetables will help to lower the risk of some of these serious vision related problems in the future," said Roger Phelps, O.D., a VSP provider and co-star of VSP EyeFiles.

Below are some eye healthy foods to add to shopping lists.  It is recommended to include at least three servings per week.

  • Vitamin A: Carrots, kale, spinach, dairy products, egg yolks
  • Vitamin C: Citrus fruits (especially kiwi fruit) and juices, green peppers, broccoli, potatoes
  • Vitamin E: Eggs, whole grains, vegetable oils, sunflower seeds
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin:  Spinach, corn, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
  • Omega-3 fatty Acids: Coldwater fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and rainbow trout; sunflower oil, corn oil
  • Zinc: Meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, dairy products

To view the VSP EyeFiles series, visit or the "My Eyes" tab at

SOURCE VSP Vision Care


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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