Do carrots help your eyes?

The world we live in is dominated by unhealthy lifestyles and nutrition.

After years of living in such a way, people have started noticing how badly their food choices can affect their health and well-being.

That is why in recent years organic, healthy and nutritious foods have gained popularity.

Now people panic when things aren’t “bio” enough.

It may be really hard to know what is good for you and what is not when there is so much information on the Internet.

However, eating a balanced diet is the best choice a person can make.

Having your favorite cookies from time to time won’t damage your health at all, but you should still try to consume healthy food.

Why are carrots that important?

There are many beneficial foods on the market, but one is often overlooked.

Everyone always runs to buy kale or avocado, but people do not pay enough attention to carrots.

They are crunchy and delicious and can be used for tons of dishes – soups, cakes, etc., or as a snack – just add some hummus!

The best part is that carrots are not only extremely tasty but also essential for your health.

They are a good source of vitamins A (from beta carotene), B6, K1; also potassium and biotin; low in fat, protein, and sugar.

Carrots can reduce the risk of cancer; lower blood cholesterol; help the digestive system and diabetes treatment; strengthen bones, increase hair growth; make the skin glow; help the teeth; etc.

The link between carrots and your eyes

“If you eat tons of carrots you will have healthy and powerful eyes”.

Most people have heard this sentence at least once in their life and the chance of hearing it when they were little is even greater.

Parents love to say this to their kids to keep them eating healthy.

It is something like: “Sack Man will come and pick you up if you are naughty” or “If you are a good kid Santa Claus will bring you presents”.

Sooner or later everyone learns the truth about those magical characters.

Now the day to break the myth about vision and carrots has come.

Where the myth comes from?

Everything has started with British propaganda from World War II.

There were two reasons which motivated the creation of the campaign.

The first one is that during this time, The Royal Air Force was using a new radar system called Airborne Interception Radar, which helped the pilots to target German bombers more efficiently throughout nighttime missions.

The radar was a new technology and a top-secret, therefore carrots were rumored to be the reason for the pilots’ success.

It is not clear if Germans actually believed this, but British people surely did.

The second is related to food shortages.

The Germans blockaded food supply ships and foods such as bacon, sugar, eggs couldn’t be delivered.

But carrots, on the other hand, can be grown at home.

Therefore, people were encouraged to do that.

The government told people that carrots will help them see during wartime blackouts.

Advertising brochures with different slogans were everywhere.

One of them said: “Carrots keep you healthy and help you see in the blackout”.

Carrots were promoted as the main ingredient in tons of dishes, especially in desserts, because of the sugar they contain.

People made carrot pudding, carrot fudge, carrot marmalade, etc.

To make the campaign accessible to children, the British Ministry of Food created a new character – Dr. Carrot.

He was everywhere – radio shows, posters, etc.

Disney helped too – one of the leading cartoonists in the company designed a whole family inspired by Dr. Carrot – Carroty George, Pop Carrot and Clara Carrot.

The propaganda campaign has left its mark on people’s minds to this day.

As we already mentioned it is not uncommon to hear that carrots will help you improve your eyesight and make you see 20/20 without wearing your glasses.

As good as it may sound this is not exactly the truth.

Is the myth true?

Now that we made clear where this myth comes from, it is time to talk about some scientifically proven facts.

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and lutein, which are high antioxidants.

That’s why they can prevent eye damage provoked by free radicals – the ones that lead to eye diseases, chronic illnesses, and aging.

Foods that contain more lutein, like yellow carrots, can protect you from AMD (age-related macular degeneration).

Beta-carotene gives a lot of yellow and orange plants their coloring.

Consequently, orange carrots are extremely high in beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A.

This particular vitamin protects the surface (cornea) of the eye, which is crucial for good eye vision.

Vitamin A also forms rhodopsin – the pigment in your eye cells that helps you see at night.

The lack of vitamin A is the main reason for blindness among people nowadays.

Every year more than 200,000 kids become blind because of vitamin A deficiency.

It can also lead to xerophthalmia – a state in which the eyes cannot tear.

This results in dryness, swelling of the eyelids, etc.

It is also important to say that your body absorbs the beta carotene better when you eat cooked rather than raw carrots!

The answer to the question is yes, carrots are very good for eyesight but they don’t improve vision like a magic wind.

The key to having strong and healthy eyes is to eat a balanced diet rich in Vitamin A.

For healthy eyes, it is advisable to consume more foods such as spinach, kale, salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts, beans, oranges, etc.

What else can you do?

If you want to take good care of your eyesight you should quit most of your bad habits – drinking and smoking too much, not wearing sunglasses or staring at the monitor.

To keep your eyes protected even when you are working long hours in front of the screen, you can download the Iris software (or app).

Iris decreases the amount of blue light emitted from the screen and controls the brightness.

The program does it automatically because it’s able to detect if it’s day or night.

You can also customize it as much as you want which is helpful for people who are not that much into technologies.

It works on both computers and phones!

Iris has 3 modes – automatic, manual and paused.

The wide variety of types (health, sleep, reading, etc) is another cool feature the program has.

Iris has a free version too so you are left without excuses not to download it.

Last words

The myth that carrots improve your eyesight may have been born long ago in the form of propaganda.

Whatsoever that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Carrots are full of vitamins needed for the eyes.

That is why they can help you keep your eyes healthy.

They just won’t improve your vision.

But if you want to take good care of your eyesight, you should eat a balanced diet, not only carrots.

It is also recommended to reduce the harmful blue light ΠΎn electronic devices using either blue light blocking glasses or by installing a softwarΠ΅ that does the same job (like Iris).

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Anna Tsaneva

 

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