Can carrots really help you to see in the dark? Or are we children of tricksters who only wanted us to eat our vegetables?
(Thanks to my class mates for this little goodie).
Carrots have always been associated with vision for many of us. Particularly night vision. I stumbled upon this site (1) who spoke about where this association came from.
During World War II. There was a skilled fighter pilot named John Cunningham (nicknamed “Cat’s Eyes”-for his wicked vision). Apparently, a group of British pilots claimed their carrot-rich diet was the reason for their super ability to accurately see in the dark. This story went so big in Britain, people started to grow and eat more carrots, so they could see during the common blackouts that occurred during that time. All of this was a result of propaganda, to cover up the us of artificial intelligence (radars) to locate enemies.
First off, carrots contain beta-carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A, an essential vitamin for healthy vision.
Apparently, its found in fish oil (yay another reason why you should eat sushi maybe?- refer to previous blog) and in fortified dairy products- so from animal products BUT if you don’t eat meat, you should be eating plenty of fruit and veges (like carrots) because they contain beta-carotene. Those bright yellow and orange fruits and veges are the ones to eat! (2)
Vitamin A helps protect the surface of your eye (cornea), and eye-drops that contain Vitamin A are really good at treating dry eyes (more effective than expensive prescription eye drops). The first sign of Vitamin A deficiency is night vision blindness.Most severe cases include cornea ulcers and complete vision loss. It is rare to see this in developed countries BUT very common among the poor. With poor diets, you miss out on important nutrients, beta-carotene and Vitamin A being some of them.
So, were our parents wrong to tell us that by eating carrots we’d see better in the dark?
Half yes and half no.
So eating carrots are not completely useless for our vision, it’s important to include it in your diet BUT it won’t treat blindness and will not better your visual acuity. If you really desperately want to better your night vision, I suggest you purchase a pair of these: