During World War II, the British were using a new radar technology to spot British planes at night. To obfuscate the technology, they wove a tale of how their pilots eat lots of carrots, containing beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A, to see better at night and be able to spot the planes. The propaganda campaign worked, as this myth has been spread ever since.
The exact story has also been given in regards to bilberries. Are they both true? I wasn’t around at the time, so I don’t know what happened or if the “news” of the tremendous positive effects of bilberries or carrots on eyesight reached the US at that time.
Carrots do contain beta carotene, but don’t expect them to improve your vision. Like potatoes, they also contain a lot of starch, which quickly converts to sugar, which has bad effects on vision in people with blood sugar problems, both in the short term and long term. That being said, vitamin A is supposed to be good to help prevent cataract and macular degeneration. Don’t expect it to do anything for myopia.
How about Other Foods?
A recent article came out claiming that oranges are even better for vision. This is the latest research, so this time they must be right!
Here’s the skinny. The London researchers studied a bunch of women over age 60. The ones who ate more fruit containing vitamin C had fewer cataracts. That’s it. That’s what they’re basing their conclusions from. First of all, there’s lots of other stuff in fruit besides vitamin C. Second, if they’re eating more fruit, they’re probably eating less garbage like candy or other foods that might be bad for their health. They probably also are at least a little health-conscious if they choose to eat fruit daily.
Good health to a large extent has to do with what foods you don’t eat and other things you don’t do, more so than finding the perfect combination of nutrients. Your body can make almost everything it needs from other good materials, given the right conditions. And those conditions include learning to stay relaxed and avoid the negative effects of a high-strung or anxious mindset that inhibits your body’s mechanisms that prevent and reverse diseases.