Have you ever heard a friend or family member mention that carrots are good for your eyes? And no, we're not talking about carats or karats. Of course, you may have thought that they were simply trying to trick you into finishing up those last few bites of cooked carrots. But is there any truth to their claim?
If you think about it, there might be. After all, rabbits love carrots, right? Have you ever seen a rabbit with eyeglasses? Not likely! Therefore, carrots must be good for your eyes!
Not so fast! That logic doesn't necessarily mean that carrots are good for your eyes. Rabbits like lettuce and all sorts of other kinds of foods, too. Rabbits don't wear earmuffs either, but that doesn't mean their ears never get cold.
We'll have to look a bit deeper to find out the true story on carrots. Believe it or not, there is actually a connection between eating carrots and maintaining good eyesight. It's not something special about carrots alone, though.
Scientists have learned that a vitamin — Vitamin A — is essential for maintaining good eye health. Going without the proper amount of Vitamin A for too long will lead to deterioration in your vision.
So where do the carrots come into play? Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is an orange-colored pigment that the liver turns into Vitamin A.
But carrots aren't the only food that contains beta-carotene. Other orange-colored foods, such as sweet potatoes, mangos, pumpkins, apricots, and cantaloupe, are also good sources of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene can also be found in dairy products, like milk, cheese, and eggs.
Before you head to the store to stock up on carrots, you should know that eating tons of carrots will not give you super vision. Vitamin A is needed in limited quantities. A well-balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables should give you all the Vitamin A you need. Eating tons of carrots will just turn your skin yellow or orange from ingesting too much beta-carotene!
If you want to keep your eyes in top shape, doctors recommend staying healthy overall. You can also make sure you get enough sleep every night. Reducing strain on your eyes by not reading in the dark or watching too much television can also help!
So what about rabbits that eat a lot of carrots? Do they have good eyesight? The answer is yes and no. Rabbits tend to be farsighted, which means they can see long distances really well. However, their vision for items nearby isn't always so great.
Part of the reason for this is the placement of the eyes on a rabbit's head. Rabbits' eyes are located high on the sides of the skull. This placement helps them quickly detect predators from almost any direction, but it also leaves them with a blind spot right in front of them. This explains why a rabbit might be frightened by an airplane flying overhead but not your hand right in front of its face!