When it comes to taking care of the eyes, many people should have heard the elders or relatives and friends say that eating more carrots can take care of the eyes and help maintain eyesight. Carrots are rich in β-Carotene (Beta Carotene), which can be converted into vitamin A in the human body, which is indeed effective in helping maintain vision health, and has anti-oxidation, free radical scavenging, anti-cancer, anti-aging, etc. Nutritional benefits. What are the nutritional benefits and functions of carotene and how to eat the right way to take care of the eyes and protect the body! Let’s find out together today!
According to a Scientific American survey, the claim dates back to World War II; the British government used to hype pilots with so good night vision because they ate a lot of carrots and built up so much Beta-Carotene, and people have said it for a long time. Believe it or not. But in fact, it was precisely because the United Kingdom took the lead in developing radar technology at that time. In order to prevent the Germans from discovering this secret, they spread information to confuse the Germans. Additionally, this claim coincides with carrots being rich in Beta-Carotene, a nutrient in Beta-Carotene that aids vision. So it has continued to this day.
Although this statement was originally made by the British army to confuse the public, it can indeed be converted into vitamin A in the human body after ingesting Beta-Carotene. The rich Beta-Carotene is especially related to night vision and tear secretion, which can prevent night blindness ( Night blindness or Nyctalopia) dry eye and vision loss, is also one of the main sources of vitamin A the body obtains. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 250,000 to 500,000 children a year lose their vision due to vitamin A deficiency. The Department of Health also states, “Vitamin A helps maintain vision in dark places, promotes healthy skin and mucous membranes, and aids in the development and growth of teeth and bones.
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant, rich in a variety of nutrients that can help the body fight free radicals, and has the following 4 major health benefits.
Studies have shown that long-term intake of Beta-Carotene can slow down the deterioration of cognitive function, but the experimental results cannot rule out whether there are other factors, and further research is needed to explain.
With blood disorders such as Erythropoietic protoporphyria (commonly known as vampire disease), the skin is overly sensitive to sunlight and cannot be exposed to the sun. In such patients, taking Beta-Carotene can help improve symptoms. In addition, studies have pointed out that due to the role of antioxidants, Beta-Carotene can protect the skin and maintain skin health.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the diseases that are easily acquired by modern people, which can cause visual distortion and affect vision. According to scholars, taking high doses of beta-carotene and vitamins C, E, zinc and copper can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 25%.
According to the National Cancer Institute of the United States, antioxidants such as Beta-Carotene can reduce the damage of free radicals to the human body and play a very important role in preventing cancer. In general, it is recommended to take phytochemicals and antioxidants from natural fruits and vegetables rather than directly supplementing Beta-Carotene supplements.
Beta-Carotene is a member of the carotenoids and the source of the orange pigment in fruits and vegetables. Beta-Carotene is inseparable from vitamin A. Generally, Beta-Carotene is the precursor of vitamin A, and taking beta-carotene is also one of the best ways to convert vitamin A, because compared with direct vitamin A supplementation, There is a possibility of overdose and poisoning, but taking Beta-Carotene will not have this problem. Because Beta-Carotene is a fat-soluble pigment, it can be better absorbed when taken in combination with oily foods.
In addition, the way the food is stored and cooked also affects the amount of vitamins in the food. In terms of vitamin A, it is easy to be destroyed under strong light, so it is also recommended that carrots should be placed in a cool place or in the refrigerator, wrapped in newspapers or sealed, to avoid excessive light exposure to avoid loss of nutrients.
For vitamin A deficiency, common solutions include taking vitamin A preparations, eating fortified foods rich in vitamin A, whole foods, etc. Eating more fruits and vegetables rich in Beta-Carotene (provitamin A) to diversify your diet can also help.
In addition to carrots, spinach, kale, and broccoli are relatively high in beta-carotene. Half a cup of cooked broccoli is about 1/4 of your daily vitamin A needs.
However, it should be noted that in the versions circulating on the Internet in the past and most software on the market, the content of β-carotene in broccoli is extremely high (7210 micrograms/100 grams), but according to the latest version of the “Chinese Food Composition Table” , per 100 grams of broccoli Beta-Carotene is only 151 micrograms, and the retinol activity equivalent is 13 micrograms, which is higher than that of conventional vegetables, but it is definitely not as exaggerated as “super food”.
So if you need precise calculations, it’s best to pay attention. Ordinary people don’t need to pay special attention.
According to research, taking 6 micrograms (μg) of Beta-Carotene can be converted into 1 microgram of vitamin A. According to the dietary nutrient reference intakes issued by the National Health Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the recommended daily intake of vitamin A for adult men and women is 600 and 500 micrograms respectively, which is equivalent to 3600 and 3000 micrograms of Beta-Carotene , in order to meet the needs of the human body.
Below is a list of the top 10 foods rich in beta-carotene based on nutritional statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with 100 grams of that food for reference.
100 grams of carrots: contains 8332 micrograms of Beta-Carotene.
Dark green vegetables: such as spinach, 6228 mcg.
Sweet potatoes: 5219 micrograms
Butternut squash: 4570 mcg
Lettuce: 5226 mcg
Cantaloupe: 2020 mcg
Red pepper: 1525 mcg
Apricots: 1094 micrograms
Cauliflower: 929 mcg
Sweet beans: 760 mcg