Do Carrots Improve Eyesight

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What’s the deal with the old adage to “eat your carrots because they help you to see better at night”. Fact or fiction? True or false? This old wives tale is a myth that was started in World War II by British Intelligence who spread rumors that their pilots had remarkable night vision because they ate so many carrots. The reason behind this successful rumor campaign was to hide the fact from the Nazi’s that their planes were using radar as WWII was the first time radar was used in combat.


Health Benefits of Carrots

Our parents weren’t far off the mark when pushing carrot consumption on us, as they, like many other vegetables are high in Vitamin A. Carrots contain beta carotene (it’s what makes them orange) loaded with vitamin A and an antioxidant compound called lutein, both highly beneficial for promoting healthy skin, growth, resisting infection and healthy eyesight particularly at night. One average sized carrot contains twice the US Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is important to our systems because it also reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration (age related diseases of the eye that lead to permanent blindness) and helps to increase night vision. Globally Vitamin A deficiency or nyctanopia (night blindness) is the leading cause of blindness in developing countries.


Carrots and Eye Health

So yes, carrots are good for general overall health because of their high levels of Vitamin A, but mega dosing on them will only turn your skin orange without any noticeable improvement in your vision. In other words there is no direct relation between how many carrots you eat and your eyesight. And although carrots do help to ward off disease and promote better eyesight they are not a cure. One on-line blogger had this to say about the any mythical connection between carrots and vision: “I don’t believe it cause I been eating them (carrots) all my life and now I is legally blind and getting worse”. You decide.