Whenever someone gets a vision number in specs first advice you get is to add carrot in diet because its rich in vitamin A and helps you in improving eye health. But eye health is not restricted to just vitamin A, there are other important factors as well. Also, vitamin A is not only important for eye health but is also important for overall health and well being.
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and comprised of a group unsaturated nutritional organic compounds including retinol, retinal and beta carotene. There are 2 forms of Vitamin A: retinol which comes from non vegetarian source and beta carotene which comes from vegetarian sources. Human body can convert beta carotene to retinol for the absorption and functioning. Hence, higher amount of beta carotene is required to get the same amount of retinol.
According to RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance), there are different requirement of vitamin A for infants, kids, adults, pregnant women and lactating women. Male adult above 13 years of age required to have 900 μg/day and female adult above 13 year of age required 700 μg/day, whereas, pregnant women above 19 years of age required 770 μg/day and lactating women above 19 year of age required 1300 μg/day.
Excessive dose of vitamin A in diet or through supplementation can cause toxicity or side effects as body can store it in fatty tissues for utilisation whenever required. Therefore, care should be taken while using vitamin supplementation.
Eye Health and Vitamin A:
Vitamin A plays a major role in maintaining the vision health by keeping the retina of eye healthy and strong. There are different cells which controls the color and light vision in eye and vitamin A in form of retinol and retinal plays a major role. Hence, adequate vitamin A is required to avoid night blindness and xerophthalmia. Different studies have shown that vitamin A with other micro nutrients shown to prevent loss of vision caused by degenerative conditions, such as cataract and macular degeneration. Other benefits of vitamin A includes avoiding diabetic neuropathy which is damage to eye caused because of diabetes.
However, other micro nutrients also plays a major role in keeping eyes healthy for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They protect eyes from any free radical damage and protect any muscular damage. Other important nutrients considered to be omega 3 fatty acid, lutein, Zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc. Moderation and balanced nutrition is the key to maintain the eye health.
Foods rich in vitamin A:
Vitamin A can be found in vegetarian as well as non vegetarian source. Here is a list of food which can provide you your dose of vitamin A:
- Sweet potato
- Organ meats
Balance your diet with above mentioned foods to get the maximum benefits and keep your eyes healthy.