diet & weight loss

Can carrots really make you see better in the dark or is this just nonsense?

In a sense, yes, carrots can make you see better in the dark as well as in the daylight too. However, as you will no doubt be aware, they don't give you the Superman vision that you may have been told about when you were little.

Carrots are a fantastic source of Vitamin A (one medium carrot provides ten times the very low RDA of 600mcg) which plays a vital role in eye health. Indeed, it is this very vitamin that transmits what our eyes see to our brain. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to a whole host of vision problems including glaucoma, night blindness and short sightedness.

Other fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and apricots are also good sources of Vitamin A but it is the carrot that packs the biggest punch. So if you ever struggle to make your kids eat their veg tell them about the amazing visual powers the carrot will give them. You may be exaggerating somewhat but you're safe in the knowledge that you're telling the truth.

Carrots are also a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and the mineral potassium. The orange vegetable also contains smaller levels of thiamin, niacin, manganese and phosphorus.

As well as vitamins and minerals, carrots are packed with antioxidants which help protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that eating carrots as part of a healthy balanced diet can have a significant effect on you general health and well being.

Several studies have also shown that carrots can have a positive effect on blood sugar levels in the body. However, further research is required to confirm such a health benefit.

Smokers, or those who are exposed to high levels of passive smoking, may also benefit form eating carrots on a regular basis. Many long term smokers develop emphysema, a condition contributed to by Vitamin A deficiency. The high levels of Vitamin A found in carrots can help prevent this from happening.

Top tip - cooking carrots for a short time can improve their flavour without reducing their nutritional content but overcooking will adversely affect their health promoting properties.

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Diet & Weight Loss