Fact or fiction? Will eating carrots help you see in the dark?
Yes and no. Carrots contain vitamin A, or retinol, and this is required for your body to synthesise rhodopsin, which is the pigment in your eyes that operates in low-light conditions. If you have a vitamin A deficiency, you will develop nyctalopia or night blindness. Eating carrots would correct this and improve your night vision, but only to the point of an ordinary healthy person – it won’t ever let you see in complete darkness.
The idea that it might is due to a myth begun by the Air Ministry in World War II. To prevent the Germans finding out that Britain was using radar to intercept bombers on night raids, they issued press releases stating that British pilots were eating lots of carrots to give them exceptional night vision. This fooled the British public, as well as German High Command and an old wive’s tale was born.
Much of carrots’ nutritional value comes from the carotenoids they contain. Carotenoids act as powerful antioxidants, strengthening the body’s ability to repair cell damage. Studies suggest that they may reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer, tame the kind of inflammation in the body that can lead to disease, and boost the immune system.
Carrots have been shown to be particularly beneficial when it comes to heart health, assisting to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and some research has shown they can help prevent stroke.
And there is research showing that fruits and veggies rich in carotenoids can improve complexion and overall appearance by giving skin a healthy glow.
In the photo above, The Brasserie’s Head Gardener Aide Lopez, has just harvested these colourful carrots that are now in season. These beauties will popping up in both the Restaurant’s Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus, specially crafted to maximize the flavours and colours of our flourishing organic produce. For our complete Holiday Menus please select the menu tab on The Brasserie Facebook page.