It has long been believed that eating carrots improves your eyesight, especially at night. They’re crunchy, sometimes delicious, and extremely nutritious.
But do carrots actually make you see better?
There’s some truth to this but actually this claim originated from a myth.
During World War II, British Royal Air Force pilots somehow managed to gun down German aircraft in the dead of night. According to the U.K. Ministry of Food, the key to their success was carrots – this claim led to a propaganda campaign that promoted carrots and their outstanding health properties.
Here’s what actually happened: British pilots first began using radar to target enemy planes. To keep this technology a secret, the accuracy of the pilots was attributed to eating carrots.
But even though carrots cannot magically make you see ten times better at night, they do contain some compounds that are good for your eyesight: they’re rich in beta carotene and lutein, which can help prevent eye damage caused by free radicals. They’re also a source of vitamin A which is needed to form rhodopsin – a pigment in your eyes that allows us to see at night.