Many of us will remember being told at the dinner table when we were children that if we eat all our carrots we will be able to see in the dark, but is this a myth or a fact?
It is true that carrots contain sources of nutrients and vitamins that are helpful in boosting and maintaining good eye health, but as for being able to see like a swooping owl in the darkest of nights it is a bit far-fetched!
How do carrots help us to see better in the dark?
Simply put, Beta-carotene is a type of Vitamin A found in carrots that helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function smoothly.
So, where does the myth come from?
The myth originated in 1940 during the six years of World War Two. British citizens were urged, through a series of posters and newspaper reports, to eat large quantities of carrots to help them cope during a blackout.
In truth, this was just a red herring created by the British Government’s food ministry to prevent the Germans finding out that Britain was using radar to intercept bombers during night raids!
Can eating carrots really improve your night vision?
Well, there may be some truth in the myth.
Beta-carotene, found in carrots, converts into Vitamin A, a nutrient that helps us to see in the dark. A Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness.
So, there is some truth in the story that carrots will help us with our night vision after all.
Binge eating on carrots alone may not give us super night vision, but it may turn your skin a shade of orange!
Nutrients for eye health
If you fancy learning about what additional foods are best for eye health, take a look at some of our other articles for inspiration:
- Healthy foods for eyes – infographic
- What are lutein and zeaxanthin and how do they help with vision?
- Alcohol and our eyes
On darker nights we may find ourselves wishing for perfect vision to help us find our way.
If you are struggling with your night vision, it may be improved by an anti-glare lens. Not sure how? Take a look at our post about how anti-reflection lenses for your glasses can help with night-time driving.