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Do Carrots Actually Help Improve Your Eyesight?

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You’ve probably heard the assumption that eating carrots improves your vision, but is there actually any truth to this? While testing this theory by eating lots of carrots may help you improve your eyesight, visiting your Reno eye doctor is a sure way to get you the eye treatment you really need. But, if you’re curious about whether the carrot theory is a genuine fact or simply a myth parents tell their children to get them to eat more vegetables, then take a look below! ​

Where did this idea come from?
The idea that eating carrots improve your eyesight can be traced all the way back to WWII. During this time, British Royal Air Force pilots started using radar to target and hit enemy planes. Their technology was so new and so innovative that in an effort to conceal their findings from enemy pilots, they began eating an abundance of carrots. The British pilots did this because the carrots helped them see better, especially at night. Thus, starting the theory that carrots improve your vision.


Is this true or not? 
While carrots do not contain properties strong enough to suddenly give you perfect vision, they do contain compounds that are proven to be beneficial for eyesight. For instance, carrots are rich in beta carotene and lutein which are antioxidants. These specific antioxidants are helpful in preventing eye damage caused by free radicals which have been linked to chronic illness and eye diseases when their levels get too high. 
Our bodies are able to turn beta carotene into vitamin A which can affect your eyesight because having a deficiency in vitamin A could lead to blindness. Also, vitamin A is needed to form rhodopsin, a light-sensitive pigment in your eye that helps you see at night. So, the theory that carrots help improve your eyesight does have some truth to it. The compounds found in carrots do have beneficial properties that directly affect your vision.

Preparing carrots for the best results:
Cooked carrots allow your body to better absorb and utilize the beta carotene that provides such great benefits to your eyesight. This means that eating raw carrots is less efficient than eating cooked carrots when trying to improve your vision. Also, vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and is better absorbed when consumed with a fat source. And yellow carrots are the richest in lutein which may help with age-related vision loss.

Other ways to improve your eyesight  
While eating carrots will help you improve your eyesight, there are lots of other ways you can help enhance your vision. For example, you could: 

  • Limit your screen time
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays
  • Eat dark and leafy green vegetables that are rich in lutein which support eye health
  • Avoid smoking as it has been linked to vision loss, cataracts, and dry eyes
  • Visit your Northern Nevada optometrist

Connect with Your Reno Eye Doctor
There are numerous ways you can support your eye health, but visiting your Northern Nevada optometrist will fully ensure you’re getting the necessary care you need to maintain your overall eye health. Connect with EyeZone Nevada to schedule your next eye appointment with a Reno eye doctor!

Written by Daniel Rowan

Reno optometrist, Dr. Daniel Rowan, was raised in Western Canada and attended Norwich University in Vermont on a hockey scholarship. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in both biology and sports medicine, he received his Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from the New York College of Optometry in 2001. He performed rotations in a Queens VA hospital, specializing in glaucoma care, and an outpatient eye clinic in the Bronx. Immediately after graduating, he moved to Nevada and is now considered a top Reno optometrist. He is a member of the American Optometric Association and is board-certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry for the treatment and management of ocular diseases.
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