When you were a child, did your parents ever trick you into thinking that carrots will give you superhuman vision? Well, to an extent, they weren’t lying. There are several tremendous benefits to adding carrots to your diet. You may not necessarily get superhuman vision, but carrots are an excellent treat for the eyes.
Where it all started
The Easter bunny’s favorite food became heavily associated with “extraordinary” or “strong” eyesight during World War II, when the British Royal Air Force (RAF) had successfully managed to gun down German aircrafts at night.
The British Air Force fabricated a story telling how a carrot-enriched diet attributed to RAF officer John Cunningham’s excellent night vision. Even Lord Woolton, the wartime minister of food in the British government, went as far as promising the nation that their eyesight could be as good as Cunningham’s if they ate more carrots and quit complaining about the lack of rationed meat.
Soon, everyone began eating more carrots in belief that they would develop superb night vision. However, it was later revealed to be mere propaganda as the Air Force was, in fact, utilizing an airborne radar to detect the German bombers. Regardless, it was successful in encouraging children (and adults) to eat more carrots.
Why you should eat more carrots
Even though the link between carrots and extraordinary vision started as a myth, carrots do play a role in maintaining healthy eyes. You should ask the Easter bunny to share his favorite treat because of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an essential precursor for vitamin A. Deficiencies in vitamin A are among the leading causes of blindness. In fact, it may even lead to the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, and xerophthalmia — a disease characterized by dry eyes, swollen eyelids, and corneal ulcers.
- Lutein: Carrots contain lutein, a highly significant antioxidant. Foods rich in lutein are known to increase the density of pigment in the macula or the oval-shaped area in the center of the retina. When the pigment density increases, the retina is more protected against diseases such as macular degeneration.
In conclusion, carrots provide several benefits for healthy vision and are always an excellent choice for a nutrient-packed snack or side dish to your everyday meals. However, keep in mind that carrots cannot restore vision loss or vision impairment. Ocular conditions, diseases, and deformities require medical treatment and cannot be corrected by increasing your vitamin A and lutein consumption.
Are you long overdue for an eye exam?
To ensure that you see the world as clearly as possible, we recommend having a comprehensive eye exam every two years in your early adult life. If you are over the age of 60, it is best to get an annual eye exam to preserve your vision. If you are on the lookout for retinal specialists in the state of Arizona — allow us to provide the eye care you need. Set an appointment by calling us at 623-474-3937.