You may have heard carrots are the best food for maintaining healthy eyesight and improving your ability to see in the dark. Although there is a ring of truth to this claim, its origins come from a rumor started during the WWII era. British Intelligence used radar to detect incoming German planes at night, and supposedly, in order to protect the secrecy of their technology they “leaked” information that they fed their anti-aircraft gunmen a surplus of carrots to improve their night vision.

    British officers of the era have confirmed that they never worked to deny this claim, but they never actually pushed it as propaganda, and were confident that the Germans knew about their radar technology. Regardless, the claim about carrots being great for improving your vision stuck around.

    Carrots do contain Vitamin-A-producing beta-carotene, a vitamin that is good for keeping your eyes healthy, but other foods are much more densely packed with nutrients that can help maintain your vision. Check out these three foods to learn what you can eat to maintain a healthy set of eyes:


    Many dark, leafy, green vegetables are filled with lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that protect against damage from sunlight, pollution, and other harmful agents. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also believed to absorb harmful rays of light. Spinach and kale carry an abundance of these nutrients — more so than other dark greens.


    Salmon, tuna, and sardines are filled with Omega-3 fatty acids. This essential fatty acid supports many functions of your body. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to protect against the formation of macular degeneration and cataracts. You can also ingest this nutrient by taking a fish oil pill, or by consuming flaxseed oil or black currant seed oil, which are also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids.


    Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are loaded with Vitamin C, an essential vitamin for repairing and growing tissue throughout your entire body. Vitamin C is linked with prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts. You can find similar benefits in red peppers and strawberries.

    Eating healthily is a great step to maintaining your vision, as well as taking care of the rest of your body, but it is not an end-all solution for vision problems. Many eye conditions are genetic or can be caused by factors unpreventable by a healthy diet. Schedule an eye examination with your optometrist if you are concerned about your vision.

    If you are experiencing vision problems, or simply need an eye exam, please contact Silverstein Eye Care Centers. Call us today at (816) 358-3600 or request an appointment online. We can serve you at our convenient location in Independence/Kansas City.

    Posted August 13, 2015 by Silverstein Eye Centers
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