Healthy Eyes Thanks to Red Fruit

As a child, parents often advise us to consume lots of carrots like rabbits to keep our eyes protected from night blindness and wearing glasses. In fact, their advice proved, because carrots are indeed rich Carotenoid substances that proved very good to nourish the eyes.

Carotenoids are a natural pigment (more than 600 pigments) (yellow, orange, red) having fat-soluble or organic soluble properties but not water-soluble. Carotenoids can usually be found in the outer shells of freshwater and marine animals such as crustaceans, shellfish, marine fish or can also be synthesized from algae plants and photosynthetic bacteria. (Http:// access date 23-03-2010). Substances that compound with Alfa carotene, Beta carotene, to Lycopene is a type of Carotenoids most commonly found in the daily diet such as fruits and vegetables.

The types of carotenoids most closely related to eye health are Beta Carotene (Pro-vitamin A), Lutein and Zeasanthin. Vitamin A deficiency can cause dry eyes, cataracts, to night blindness that can lead to blindness. While lutein and zeasanthin is a substance that helps slow the development of cataract regeneration.

Nutritionists recommend the need for human intake of vitamin A a day of about 750 micrograms of retinol equivalent, equivalent to 4500 micrograms of beta carotene or 9,000 people taking vitamin A contained in fruits and vegetables (Trubus 451, June 2007).

Vitamin A can be obtained by consuming vegetables and fruits. In Indonesia, fruits rich in vitamin A are papaya, mango, red fruit and oranges, while vegetables such as carrots, mustard greens, and red sweet potatoes. The pro vitamin A compounds they contain will be converted to vitamin A if needed in the body. But if the body already has vitamin A reserves with high levels, pro vitamin A that had not been converted into vitamin A and will be removed by the body itself so as not to cause toxicity. Vitamin A needs can also be met by taking vitamin A supplements that are widely available in drug stores. But keep in mind because vitamin A supplements generally contain vitamin A that is already active so it will be toxic if consumed to overdose.

Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity is called Hipervitaminosis that will appear if taking vitamin A 10 times the recommended dose. Usually these symptoms will cause loss of appetite, dizziness, nausea, muscle and bone pain, baldness to liver damage. While excess pro vitamin A will only result in yellow spots on the skin that will disappear by itself if the consumption is reduced or stopped.

To be absorbed by the body, carotenoids must be released from various other food elements and mixed with micelles (a mixture of salt and some types of lipids). (Trubus 451, June 2007). Not only that, for the absorption of this substance is also needed fat in foods about 3-5 grams. As a result carotenoids are absorbed by the body only slightly. For example, beta carotene in carrots is only 46% and papaya 33% (of 100%), so the carotenoid in the form of oil is easier to be absorbed by the body.

To get vitamin A naturally faster than consuming vegetables and fruits is to consume foods derived from animals, fish, and processed foods, such as meat, milk, cheese, sea fish. Besides containing beta carotene also contains a lot of fat that serves as a carotenoid solvent so that more quickly absorbed by the body but it should be noted that fatty foods also contain bad cholesterol if consumed in excess.

Red fruit rich in benefits

Red Fruit is a kind of traditional fruit from the region of Papua, people usually call WamenaKuansu or Tawi. Red fruit also has a Latin name that is PandanusConoideus Lam, because this fruit includes pandanus - pandanan plant has a height of up to 16 meters. The fruit itself is oval shaped with the bud covered with fruit leaves, fruit length about 55 cm, diameter approximately 10-15 cm, and weighs about 2 kg if it is ripe, this fruit is bright red maroon.

This plant is an endemic plant commonly grown in the highlands about 1000-3000 meters above sea level, red fruit widely found in the forests of Papua, but now many of these plants have been cultivated by local residents.

For generations of people in Wamena Papua, red fruit is commonly used in traditional ceremonial burning stones, but many also use red fruits as traditional medicines to treat eye diseases, worms, skin diseases, and so on.
For generations of people in Wamena Papua, red fruit is commonly used in traditional ceremonial burning stones, but many also use red fruits as traditional medicines to treat eye diseases, worms, skin diseases, and so on.

Carotenoid substances are the most dominant substances in red fruit, carotenoid content ranges between 4,000-12,000 ppm (carotenoids) and 60-700 ppm (beta carotene). The high variation of content due to differences in harvest age, location of growing and varieties. (Trubus 451, June 2007). To facilitate comparison with other vegetables and fruits such as carrots and papayas, best known as beta-carotene producers, let's just take the average red fruit content to carotenoid 8000 ppm and beta carotene 380 ppm, while carrots only have beta carotene levels of 120 ppm . And papaya has only 8 ppm. It can be seen that red fruit is the best source of beta carotene compared to other vegetables and fruits.

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To meet the needs of vitamin A per day it takes about 4500 micrograms, if assumed in the form of food to be equivalent to 80 grams of carrots but these needs can be covered by consuming 1 tablespoon of red fruit oil. In addition, red fruit is also rich in vitamin E and C as an adjuvant in the conversion of beta carotene into vitamin A, vitamin E and C is also needed by the body as a powerful antioxidant as an antidote to free radicals.

Although the potential of red fruit in treating eye diseases has not been dug deeper, traditionally the efficacy of red fruit in the treatment of eye diseases has been proven by local Papuans, for eye sufferers minus (myopia) and cylinders (astigmatis), they consume red fruit oil with a dose of 2 Times a day with 1 tablespoon dose. As a result of their vision becomes more clear only in the period of 2 months only.

From the proof by the local people, there is no harm in empirical evidence-proofing, by doing research and further clinical studies. As well as search for other benefits of red fruit, as well as other content contained in the fruit that is believed to be rich in these benefits.

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