Friday, July 15, 2011

Vitamin A, Antioxidants and Eyes

Every food we eat provides the body with a range of nutrients, each with its own role to play. By eating right and making healthy choices you could help your vision as well.

Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision, particularly night vision. Night blindness and inability to see well in dim light is often associated with a deficiency of vitamin A. There are two sources of dietary vitamin A. Active forms are immediately available to the body and are obtained from animal products known as retinoids including retinal and retinol. Precursors, also known as provitamins, are converted to active forms by our body and obtained from fruit and vegetables containing yellow, orange and dark green pigments, known as carotenoids or beta-carotene. Excellent sources of vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, mango, apricots, sweet peppers and beef liver.

Vitamin A also acts in the body as an antioxidant, a protective chemical that may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Antioxidants are compounds or substances that help to prevent damage done to the body as a result of chemical reactions involving oxygen. They protect other compounds from oxygen by itself reacting with oxygen. Blueberries are delicious fruit that are very rich in antioxidants. Other good sources of antioxidants are broccoli family, carrots, citrus fruit, cocoa or chocolate, flaxseed, grapes or grape juice, honey, raspberries and tomatoes.
Please make correct choices in choosing nutritious foods and help your vision and your body to feel its best.