Category Archives: carrots and better vision

Food and health cliches revisited – Wake Forest

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – I always liked that one. While apples boast many health benefits, they do not, sadly, bulletproof us against all diseases.

“Everything our parents said was good is bad,” complains Alvy Singer, the character played by Woody Allen in “Annie Hall,” his 1977 Oscar-winning romantic comedy.

Green-vegetables

That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but when it comes to what certain foods can do to or for you, it’s probably best to take motherly advice, familiar sayings and other bits of conventional wisdom with a grain of salt.

“There’s some validity to some of them, but many of them are just old wives’ tales or myths that have trickled down over the years,” said Annette Frain, a registered dietitian at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Continue reading

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Does Eating Carrots Help You to See Better?

They must help; you never saw a rabbit with glasses, right? Just joshing.

Snopes, that arbiter of all urban legends, says, “While carrots are a good source of vitamin A (which is important for healthy eyesight, skin, growth, and resisting infection), eating them won’t improve vision. The purported link between carrots and markedly acute vision is a matter of lore, not of science. And it’s lore of the deliberately manufactured type.”

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Here is a fun video that explains it in detail. Enjoy!

Regarding nutritional value, FITDAY says, “Because of all the vitamins and nutrients contained in carrots, your body will benefit from eating more of them. For starters, carrots contain pro-vitamin A carotenes, and carrots are the greatest vegetable source of them. The powerful antioxidants found in carrots help protect your body from cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer, and they’re also great for helping your vision due to the high levels of beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A within your body). As a result of the increased levels of vitamin A, carrots can also help prevent postmenopausal breast cancer and also protects your body from other forms of cancer in the bladder, colon, larynx and prostate. They can even cut your risk of lung cancer by up to 50 percent.

“Aside from doing all this, carrots help in some of the body’s basic functions, too. For instance, they help to regulate the blood sugar in your body. They also help those who may be deficient in vitamin A because of the carcinogens found in cigarettes. Overall, carrots provide your body with the necessary amount of vitamin A to function fully.”

Now you know. Mother knows best even if she didn’t have it quite right in this case.

Tony

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