Raised beds of greens, going beyond carrots for improved eyesight.Vision is arguably one of the most valuable of our five senses and once it’s gone, there’s usually no getting it back. That’s why it’s so important to be vigilant when it comes to our eyesight, especially for youngsters. While a myriad of different conditions are often unavoidable, often congenital or existent at birth, as our eyes continue to age, diet plays an important part in their development. And yes, it goes beyond carrots.

Healthy eyes and vision mean much more than eating a lot of carrots, and as a matter of fact, there are several myths circulating around about consuming this vegetable as it affects our eyesight. Sure carrots are full of vitamin A, which helps with better vision, but you can eat pounds of them all day long and it won’t actually improve eyesight.

Back in WWII

When sugar was rationed during World War II, parents struggled with sweeter alternatives to give their children through fruits and vegetables. But according to a recent Smithsonian article, not only were children none too pleased with getting veggies instead of candy, a propaganda effort was afoot to promote the ingestion of carrots and leafy green vegetables.

They claimed it was a vital way to improve night vision, and although there is some truth to their theory, it may have been a method to help control the disappointment and madness of rations as a whole during the war. It could have also been a pathway to disillusion enemy troops into believing a healthier diet consumed by the Allies would lead to their ultimate destruction.

There’s Still Truth There

In any event, whether it was a perceived myth, madness or pure propaganda, this was still one of the earliest avenues used to promote the consumption of a healthier diet. To improve our overall health, even though they may have been misleading, the message still rang true: Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is a much better choice for our long-term health and welfare.

While consuming more carrots continues to contribute to better overall vision, there are many more choices that will help keep our vision sharp: Consider adding these greener and healthier options to your family’s diet:

  • Kale: A great source of beta keratin, and full of antioxidants, but also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, great for good vision.
  • Spinach: High in iron and fiber, this leafy green option is also rich in vitamin C and also contains lutein and zeaxanthin for better eyesight
  • Collard Greens: Contains similar ingredients as our other green choices and can help to stall the development of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Don’t forget other “greens” that will aid with eyesight like broccoli, avocados, beans, and peas. There’s also vision advantages when consuming citrus fruits and berries. Eggs, whole grains, and nuts also give benefits for healthy eyesight.

When it comes to dieting and exercise, or anything else for that matter, too much of any one thing is never a very good option. A balanced approach is always better when it comes to obtaining a healthy lifestyle. Go ahead and feed your family carrots, along with other healthy choices to give them better vision and overall health.

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Naomi Shaw DrGreene.com contributor

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