We have all heard throughout our childhood and later that eating carrots and greens will help get rid of spectacles. In this segment let us look into this a little deeper.
The connection between carrots and eyes is not a myth. There is indeed some truth. Carrots contain two chemicals that are important for eye health, namely beta carotene and lutein. Beta carotene is converted by our body into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is very important to keep the deeper important layers of our retina and retinal pigment epithelium functioning well. Lutein is a chemical that has proven to protect the retina and supporting layers against aging changes leading to ARMD (Age related macular degeneration) that can cause serious visual damage.
Vitamin A is particularly important for dark adaptation. Dark adaptation is the ability of our eyes to see in dim illumination or at night. In certain parts of the world wherein Vitamin A deficiency is prevalent, patients particularly pregnant women may present with symptoms of night blindness.
In case you are wondering if there are other vegetables too that you can add to your diet, which offer benefits similar to carrots, the answer is yes. Green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are high in lutein too. It is not exactly clear how much of carrots or leafy greens need to be consumed to see the benefits. A study published in 2005 which looked at dietary change to include sources of beta carotene versus Vitamin A supplements, in pregnant women, concluded that a small daily dose was sufficient to improve symptoms of night blindness.
Milk or breakfast cereal fortified with Vitamin A is a good source too. If you would rather take Vitamin A supplements, it is best to check with your physician for guidance on what would be the dose appropriate for you. Too much of Vitamin A is not good for you either, as it can be stored in the body and become harmful.
All this has nothing to do with spectacle wear. In conclusion, while carrots don’t help get rid of spectacles, they definitely help keep your eyes healthy well into your old age.