You probably heard it when you were a kid too and didn’t want to eat your vegetables either, and your mother would say, “Eat your carrots; they are good for your eyes”. But what nutrients are in carrots that would make them good for your eyes? What other foods contain these same nutrients?
Beta-carotene is the substance in carrots, as well as other fruits and vegetables that is good for your eyes; beta-carotene is especially good for your night vision. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the liver, and vitamin A is the nutrient that does all the good. Vitamin A is used by the retina where it is transformed into rhodopsin, which is a purple pigment that is necessary for night-vision. Also, beta-carotene’s powerful antioxidant action prevents macular degeneration and senile cataracts, the latter being the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
What other foods contain beta-carotene? You might ask. Well, fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene are typically identified by their color, yellow, red and orange colored fruits and vegetables are indicative of high levels of beta-carotene, and the more orange the better. But some foods high in beta-carotene are actually greens such as kale and spinach.
Top foods high in Beta-carotene
Sweet potato: provides 9444Î¼g of beta carotene per 100g serving.
Kale: 100 grams of raw kale will provide 9226Î¼g of beta-carotene.
Carrot: 100 grams of raw carrots provides 8285Î¼g of beta-carotene.
Turnip greens: 100 grams of raw turnip greens provides 6952Î¼g of beta-carotene.
Mustard greens: provides 6300Î¼g of beta-carotene per 100g serving
Spinach: cooked spinach provides even more beta-carotene with 6288Î¼g per 100g serving.
Dried herbs: Dried Basil provides the most beta-carotene with 5584Î¼g per 100g serving.
Butternut squash: 100 grams baked provides 4570Î¼g of beta-carotene.
Red leaf lettuce: Red-Leaf Lettuce providing 4495Î¼g per 100g. Green leaf lettuce: provides 4443Î¼g per 100g.