This was one of the more popular myths we had growing up – eating carrots would naturally improve your vision and you didn’t have to wear any glasses. Well, that and parents saying you couldn’t sit too close to the television when your favourite show was on. This health claim originated back in the World War II, where carrots were the main reason why the British Royal Air Force could have had clearer vision at night and shot more Nazi people. It was a cover up for another system they were implementing, but the story remains strong until today.
Based on the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs), the recommended intake is 3000 IU (International Units)–adult males (age 19+), 2310 IU–adult females (age 19+) and 2000 IU–children (age 9-13). Any amount higher than this will turn your skin orange/ yellow (carotemia), but isn’t dangerous for your health.
Carrots contain beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A, which is good for the eyes. It contains antioxidants to fight free radicals and prevent any eye damage. Even though carrots cannot scientifically improve your eyesight, it is said to help when there is a vitamin A deficiency. Despite the myth, carrots do bring a lot of benefits such as stabilizing blood sugar (due to low GI), heart health and protecting the skin due to several antioxidants present, so do consume some if you can.
Natural sources of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, can be found in a variety of foods. Normal vision, the immune system, reproduction, and growth and development all depend on vitamin A.
Whole plant foods contains all the nutrients your eyes need. It can effectively fight free radicals, prevent various vision diseases and prevent premature aging of the eyes.
So which foods contain vitamin A?
Are there any side effects of taking too much vitamin A?
Vitamin A Side Effects
• Excessive supplementation may cause: abnormal liver function, decreased bone density, abnormal nervous system. Acute poisoning may occur in serious cases causing dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and even the risk of death, so consume this supplement with caution.
• Vitamin A is typically not deficient in a normal diet, but you should worry about excessive amounts. Liver, visceral foods and cod liver oil contain high levels of vitamin A, so it is recommended to avoid consuming large amounts.
• Consult your doctor before taking vitamin A supplements because too much vitamin A can be harmful to your body.
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