Fact or fiction: Do carrots really improve vision?
Perhaps, you’ve heard the myth that carrots improve eyesight.
Carrots certainly are a good source of Vitamin A, and that can help improve vision.
But the old wive’s tale dates back to WWII.
British fighter pilots had highly successful missions shooting down German bombers, in the middle of the night, before the bombers reached the English Channel. In fact, one Royal Air Force pilot shot down 19 German bombers in the darkness of night.
The success was thanks to secret, new technology, called Airborne Interception Radar.
But a British propaganda group wanted to keep that new technology top secret - so it spread the word that the pilot’s success came from eating a lot of carrots - which helped him see in the middle of the night.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, there are tales that the Germans started feeding their pilots carrots, as a result of the propaganda campaign.
Needless to say, carrots became a very popular food choice for the British during that time.
So.. that’s how the myth began. The more you know.
But.. did you know what’s actually better than carrots for your vision?
Tasty, leafy greens that are filled with lutein - like broccoli, spinach, and kale.
And yes, even carrots - which aren’t leafy or green - have lutein. But leafy greens are the best source of lutein.
Research shows lutein improves, or even prevents, age-related macular disease, which is the leading cause of blindness and vision impairment.
A healthy diet, filled with leafy greens, can help prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
BayState Eye Center Optometrist, Dr. Alex Hentschel, says diabetes attacks the smallest blood vessels first.
And guess where those are?
Yup. In your eyes.
“That’s why it’s so important to have an annual eye exam,” Dr. Hentschel says.
“We use Optos to diagnose potentially hidden and serious health problems. Optos allows us to see a person’s retina like never before. If we notice a change in the blood vessels behind a patient’s eyes, that change is likely happening in the rest of the body,” he says.
When asked how often our eye doctors catch hidden health problems during routine eye exams, Dr. Hentschel simply said, “On a daily basis.”
It is true.
Your eyes tell the story of your overall health. And getting an eye exam can help diagnose health hazards you might not be aware of.
Your health is, and always will be, our top priority.
From all of us at BayState Eye Center,
P.S. Dr. Joyce Rached and her husband are proud new parents to a baby boy! So make sure to say congrats the next time you see her!