HEALTH MYTHS BUSTED – IV
As a child, I’d grown up on Popeye-the-Sailor man and Bugs-Bunny… And so, if anyone can attest to the fact that parents truly trick their kids to eat their veggies, by amplifying the ‘good’ of a particular vegetable AND exploiting our favourite cartoon characters, that would be ME!!! ☹
So, now for a famous one…Do carrots really improve your eye-sight???
As a lifelong carrot-muncher, I was left feeling betrayed when I learnt the difference of ‘maintaining’ healthy eye-vision and ‘improving’ it, in Med-school.
The myth of ‘Carrots for excellent vision/ night-vision’ was touted by the British Ministry of Health as the reason for the bullseye aim of the British Air Force pilots, in shooting down German aircraft in the WW II. The carrot-enriched night vision news, spawned a whole propaganda of how this orange-root would give one Superman vision!
Coming to facts…carrots are rich in beta-carotene, the pigment that helps in making Vitamin A (the deficiency of which leads to blindness) and lutein, an important antioxidant in carrot, which is also vital for retinal health.
However, bingeing on carrots are not going to keep you from wearing or needing glasses, but yes, the Vitamin A would help to keep your vision healthy, not necessarily improve it.
Most vision problems are due to genetic causes, accidents, diseases and even ageing. Munching on carrots are not going to help, once it happens.
However, adding carrots are ideal to maintaining a healthy vision, while remembering that accumulation of toxic levels of Vitamin A (due to overeating of carrots) too is risky. Plus, the fact that too much of carrots are gonna make you look the Orange-man (giving an orangish-yellow tint to the skin)!!!
So, just remember that when your parents told (even now tell!!!) regarding the umpteen benefits of carrots, they were not completely wrong.
But if you’re facing any vision-issues, it would be prudent to take yourself (or your child) to see the Doctor, rather than relying on a carrot-rich diet! 😊