Jar of oranges, See in the dark with carrots?

22 Feb Food for thought

Everybody has been told at some stage in their life that carrots help you see in the dark, but is there any truth in it?   Whilst carrots are a good source of Vitamin A which is required for good skin and eyes, they can’t be given the credit for improving your night vision.   Interestingly the myth was created by the ministry of defence during World War 2 in order to keep their highly successful airborne interceptor radar known as AL a secret from the nazis.   News stories were printed in the British press about a Lieutenant John Cunningham nicknamed “cats eyes” due to his incredible ability to spot his prey in the dark.   His skill was put down to his insatiable appetite for carrots and stories that other pilots being  fed large amounts of carrots to increase their ability too were reported as a decoy!

Don’t worry we won’t tell the kids it’s not true.

There is however  a rapidly growing body of evidence that certain foods can help to safeguard your vision. Vitamins of the A,C & E complex plus zinc have been shown to slow down the development of macular degeneration in existing and low grade sufferers. Vitamins C & E may also help to decrease the progression of cataracts.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are the antioxidants which help to neutralise the free radicals that can cause cell damage.

So where can we find these antioxidants?

As much as I’d love to say chocolate, they are actually found in the usual healthy foods which we are always advised to eat such as dark coloured fruit and vegetables.   A large amount of lutein is also found in egg yolks.   For the maximum benefit from the vegetables below they are best lightly cooked rather than raw and over cooking can sap the goodness from them.   A diet containing five fruit and vegetable portions a day should be enough to get the recommended daily intake.   If you would like any further advice about supplements contact Wendy or Lewis Craven at the practice.

  • kale
  • sprouts
  • kiwi
  • mango
  • melon
  • prunes
  • broccoli
  • orange peppers
  • grapes
  • papaya
  • pumpkin
  • courgettes
  • sweetcorn
  • peas
  • oranges
  • peaches
  • sweet potato
  • dark green lettuce
  • spinach