So, is this fact or just a myth that carrots are really good for our eyesight? You must have heard it that even in the dark night even the British gave a tough war to the Germans. Ever wondered how they could do it in the World War time? They give the credits to the carrot. The pilots are also suggested to have carrots in abundance to improve eyesight, which is one of the essential criteria over there. Later, though it was found that it was the use of RADAR, but the fact that carrot does help in improving eyesight still holds good. Now we will see what makes carrot such amazing!
Carrot contains beta-carotene
This root veggie is rich in beta-carotene which is a pigment that occurs naturally and it nourishes the eye. Beta-carotene is essential for the formation of Vitamin-A, which is very necessary for the eye. Vit-A helps in converting the light we perceive into a signal. That signal is transmitted to our brain, and this is the reason why we can see even under low conditions of light. The clear front part of the eye is called cornea, and if the vitamin-A is less in our body, then it can affect the cornea.
How many carrots should we intake?
When you know it is useful, the next question that arises in mind is how much of it should be taken. The eye is in need of Vit-A and not carrot only. If you have almost five ounces of carrot a week, then it can help you in your night blindness.
How do carrots work?
Now, how it works is a bit complicated, the beta-carotene in carrots converts into Vit-A in the walls of our intestine. Also, it takes almost 20 molecules of this to get a unit molecule of the required Vitamin A.
What if you take too much beta-carotene?
Now the problem with this method is that when our body has already taken a lot of beta-carotene in it, further consuming will not convert this to Vit-A. The body prevents this conversion because a lot of consumption of same substance can be toxic at times. So, keep having them but in moderate amounts.
Orange tint in skin- a concern
If you are taking a lot of carrots, your skin may get orange tinge too. That is not a health problem, but that can concern many.
Can carrots help in all sort of vision related problems?
Now, if the problems in vision are due to aging or genetic problems or diabetes, beta-carotene has nothing to do with solving it.
Deficiency of Vitamin A can also cause Xerophthalmia, which is dryness of the cornea of the eye. Cataract is also one heck of a problem.
How much beneficial are the antioxidants in a carrot?
Carrots have another essential antioxidant present in it which is called lutein. Now this lutein plays an important role in increasing the density of a pigment present in the macula region which is an oval area which is yellow and is in the center region of the retina. Macula region degenerates with age. Having more carrots keeps the retina a bit more secure and so you don’t run the risk.
But then not all eye defects can be solved by carrots either. Problems like astigmatism or glaucoma need lenses or other surgeries.
The photoreceptors in the eye also don’t function well when there is no vitamin A consumed by the body. But doesn’t mean you take a lot of them. Too much of Vit A is toxic to the body. You can have them back to work by taking multivitamins.
Now how this rumor spread all over that having carrot is magical?
In the Second World War, when the British could fight the Nazis back and could see them even attacking at the dark, they spread the world about this diet which gave them this power. Now the lie that was kept hidden over the years was the AI radar technology or the airborne interception. What this did was, before the Nazis bomb them off, they got detected. The reason why they kept this as a secret was no one likes to reveal their technology to others if not beneficial. To keep the Germans unaware of the fact and their new technology which was far more superior than theirs, then, they had to seek another explanation. The explanation that somewhat people will believe when they ask how for nation’s safety is they putting off a huge number of bombers so soon. Flight Lieutenant John Cunningham who is a pilot in this RAF himself called “Cat’s eye .” Just as cats could spot their prey even during the night time, similarly he could see whom he has to attack when it is dark outside. There were new headlines and stories made. When asked how was he blessed with such good eyes; he told his love for carrots. Also, to convince many, they included carrots in the diet, and so people believed them soon.
Other benefits of carrots
But then, this food has also some good reasons to be consumed. The carotenoids in them help in regulating blood sugar level. If there is excess sugar in the blood, eventually that harms our eyesight. We can even be blind. Having carrots is thus a little helpful this way too.
Now the way to every other organ is through our heart. Now the carrots help in keeping a healthy heart. It has got soluble fiber in it which helps in reducing the cholesterol level in it. It helps our body to get rid of the LDL form and increases the required HDL level. It is necessary for clotting of blood, though. Along with this, it helps in the formation of new cells and thus detoxifying our body. With all the good things in it, it is very nice to include boiled and cooked carrots in the diet. Over-consumption is never good so have it in limits. It will take some time to heal your eyesight. But, don’t get the wrong impression that it can help to improve all problems related to vision. It just helps in night blindness. But if you are having other problems, do consult your doctor.