Part 1 of my Improve Eyesight Naturally series briefly went over the science behind bad eyesight, the reason for the epidemic of nearsightedness in the modern day, and ways of naturally raising the enjoyment-motivation neurotransmitter dopamine.
Part 2 of my Improve Eyesight Naturally series will go over if carrots are really good for your eyes and how video games can improve eyesight.
Is this a myth or reality?
It’s reality… sort of (link).
Carrots contain something called beta-carotene, which your body needs to produce Vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness around the world. It’s also been known to cause cataracts (clouding of the eyes) and cause other eye disorders like dry eyes and swollen eyelids.
Carrots also contain lutein, which is known to prevent macular degeneration (degeneration of cells in your eyes leading to eyesight loss).
Food rich in Vitamin A other than carrots include beef liver, eggs, sweet potato, kale, and spinach.
Kale and spinach also contain zeaxantin, another substance that helps with eyesight. Since carrots don’t contain zeaxanthin, they may not be the best eyesight-enhancing food out there. All evidence points to kale and spinach being better alternatives.
Lutein and zeaxanthin also come in supplement form, which you can pick up here: (Amazon)
Looney Tunes was a popular cartoon that was started in the 1940s, and is still known to a lesser extent today. Bugs is an iconic character from the cartoon.
Bugs has been shown to have great eyesight in one episode when he was drafted into the military and was given an eyesight exam. He’s also seen eating carrots constantly. Naturally, people put 2 and 2 together. Real life rabbits do have very good farsighted eyesight to help them detect predators, but they don’t eat carrots. Rabbits mostly eat hay and grass. The carrot thing is a myth.
Carrots ARE good for your eyes, but there are other foods that do the same thing. Kale and spinach may actually be better alternatives.
I’ve written another blog post on the benefits of video games, so check that out too.
At first, you would think that playing video games would ruin your eyesight. That can certainly happen. Related to this, watching TV to close to the screen and using a computer with high brightness setting for extended periods of time can also ruin your eyesight.
The best way to prevent your eyesight from worsening like this is to turn down the brightness of your computer and TV screen as much as possible. Sit as far away as you can. Take a 10-15 minute break every hour. Eyesight gets damaged from computer and TV use when the screen is set too bright, and when the users are sitting huddled too close to the screen non-stop for too long. So, the solution is to do the opposite.
The only video games that produce a net benefit to eyesight are first person shooters. Other games have no such benefits. Reason? First person shooters require you to find enemies, essentially moving dots, on a screen. Take a shooting game like Call of Duty. The levels are grayish, and all the characters and enemies are wearing dull colored clothes. So, spotting enemies on a screen is a test of sharp vision.
First person shooters specifically improve contrast sensitivity, the ability to discern different shades of gray in a uniform background, which is one of the first aspects of vision to worsen as you age. Scientific evidence also showed an improved ability to read one or two more lines further down on an optician’s eye chart and improved ability to follow direction of movement, detect slow rates of flickering light, and identify faces.
So unfortunately, you can’t take your glasses, play lots of Halo and expect your vision to improve to the point where you no longer need the glasses. And if you’re not careful, you CAN cause damage to your eyes and worsen your vision.
In my other video game blog post, I recommended playing 30-60 minutes 1-2 days a week, and playing one marathon session of several hours. Take a break of 10-15 minutes every hour to let your eyes rest. This frequency lets you gain benefits from video games without having other aspects of your life impeded. But I realize now that a more effective, but much more time-consuming, alternative would be 30-60 minutes a day for 5-7 days a week.
Taking everything we learned from Parts 1 and 2, this is the best way to improve vision naturally:
First, skip breakfast, and only eat within an 8 hour window from noon to 8 pm, or whatever times you prefer. Eat mostly protein and fat, and save most of your carbs for later in the evening. This heightens insulin sensitivity. Specifically, eat beef, chicken, seafood like oysters and tuna, spinach, kale, carrots, breakfast cereal, and oranges. Save the cereal for later in the day. Drink fruit juice, like orange juice, cranberry juice, any juice with a lot of Vitamin C.
Next, play first person shooters outside in the sun as much as possible. It’s going to be tricky to pull this off, but it’s possible. Here is my blog post on outdoor video gaming.
I wrote another blog post on meditation, and I’ve been doing it regularly the past few months. After only about 1-2 weeks, colors started to appear much more vivid and that my overall eyesight got noticeably better. I highly recommend it for improving eyesight.
Scientific studies show that meditation improves attention span because it improves your vision and other senses. The idea is that since you’re brain doesn’t have to devote as much mental energy to handling sensory input, it can devote more energy to sustained attention. And this makes sense if you think about it. If you’re squinting your eyes and working your ass off to read what’s being written on a chalkboard, you won’t be able to think much about what’s actually being written.
So meditation definitely improves vision, which in turn improves attention span. But, how does meditation specifically improve vision?
My theory is that meditation helps cut out distractions and unwanted thoughts from your mind. Since there’s not nearly as much mental clutter to sift through, your brain is able to more efficiently process the visual data from your eyes. It’s the same way first person shooter video games improve vision.
And that’s the end of my two-part series on how to Improve Eyesight Naturally.
The key is sunlight exposure, which many of us aren’t getting enough of these days. It’s THE biggest difference between our ancestors and people a few decades ago, and us currently. You may even start noticing this yourself. When you’re out in the sunshine, colors will appear much more vivid and your vision will be sharper.
Dopamine is the brain chemical that makes this happen. Sunlight helps to regulate dopamine levels in your brain . That’s why people in the past who were outside in the sun more had better eyesight than us. And in Part 1, we went over how to raise dopamine naturally.
Carrots ARE good for your eyes, but kale and spinach are better alternatives.
First person shooters and meditation train your brain to process visual information much more efficiently, which also improves your vision.
And lastly, these eyesight improving techniques I went over in these two blog posts, when done individually, won’t produce much noticeable benefits. If you ONLY play first person shooters, the benefits will be there, just not as potent. But, if you do all of them, the benefits will borderline life-changing. A million little things add up to something truly significant.
Until next time,