Everyone has heard, “Eat your carrots to have good eyesight!” Is there any truth to this statement or is it a bunch of baloney? Well, yes and no. Carrots won’t improve your visual acuity if you have less than perfect vision. A diet of carrots won’t give a blind person 20/20 vision.
A healthy diet is essential for maintaining good health and optimal functioning of bodily functions. When we think of improving eyesight, carrots are usually the first thing that comes to mind.
Does eating carrots really improve eyesight?
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body uses to produce vitamin A. Carrots are also good for lowering cholesterol levels and improving vision. Vitamin A helps the eyes convert light into a signal that is sent to the brain, allowing you to see better in low light.
If you have low vision or any other eye problems, it would be best to see a specialist as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How many carrots are needed?
According to research, it is still not clear how many carrots should be eaten to improve night vision. Most research has focused on beta-carotene or vitamin A supplements, but not specifically on carrots.
A 2005 study compared different vitamin A-rich food options that may help reduce night blindness in pregnant women. The results showed that eating carrots with one meal a day for six days a week can help pregnant women restore their night vision to normal levels.
However, this does not mean that carrots can improve pre-existing health conditions. When you have enough beta-carotene in your body, it will not convert to vitamin A. The body’s natural response is to overproduce vitamin A to prevent the accumulation of toxic levels of the substance.
So, eat carrots and leafy greens like spinach and kale to protect your eyesight. In addition to the importance of a healthy diet, it is also extremely important to have regular eye examinations. This will help you determine the condition of your vision, and ways to improve it.
From childhood, we hear that carrots are responsible for the health of our eyes and that they improve our visual acuity.
To begin with, carrots are generally healthy and have a positive effect on our eyesight. Most of the beneficial properties of carrots come from their richness in beta carotene and fiber. It is this beta carotene that serves our body as vitamin A. After consumption, it turns into one of the strongest antioxidants in the body, that is, vitamin A.
Vitamin A helps the eye convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain, enabling people to see in low-light conditions. In addition, the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) can literally disappear if the body does not get enough vitamin A.
Vitamin A is needed to make rhodopsin, a reddish-purple light-sensitive visual pigment in the cells of your eyes that helps you see at night.
HISTORY – EYESIGHT
The myth that carrots can improve eyesight originated in World War II, and was invented by the British to fool the Nazis and protect themselves from the enemy.
British Air Force pilots were the first to use radars to target and engage enemy aircraft. In an effort to keep this new technology secret, the pilots’ visual accuracy – especially at night – was attributed to eating carrots.
This led to a long-standing propaganda campaign promoting carrots for better eyesight. This ornate connection between eating carrots and improved night vision follows us to this day.
An ideal plate for healthy vision
Vitamin A, C i E
- Red peppers
- Carrot on top
Oil as a dressing helps with fat-melting vitamins A and E (some hard-boiled eggs would also add vision-protecting carotenoids, as well as fat to aid absorption.)
On the side, kiwi and oranges provide vitamin C and fish like swordfish or salmon offer zinc, another key ingredient for eye health.
So just nibbling on a carrot won’t improve your eyesight much. Research has shown that once you get enough beta-carotene into your body, it will usually no longer convert to vitamin A. The body naturally regulates itself against excess vitamin A to prevent toxic levels of the substance from building up.
Carrots can also contribute to digestive, heart and skin health.
Did you know?
It is estimated that 12 to 21 molecules of beta carotene are needed in the diet to make just one molecule of vitamin A. This suggests that a vitamin A supplement should be taken, if possible, instead of carrots.
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