Carrots benefits are truly amazing! Carrots are very common root vegetable in the U.S. that it is easy to overlook their possibly powerful health benefits.
Today a popular snack food to consume with dips or add to fresh juice, or as an addition to stews and soups, carrots benefits have been valued since ancient times. In accordance with the US Department of Agriculture, cultivated carrots 1st arrived in North America. This root vegetable is a significant member of the parsley family that also includes anise, dill, and celery 1 .
As many vegetables, the early history of carrot centered on numerous medicinal attributes though appropriate for healing various maladies and conditions.
Cooking Can Boost the Carrots Benefits
Raw carrots are an exceptional food, though, there are some studies proving that cooking them can actually help to increase their potent nutritional content 2 . Excitingly, one research showed that cooked carrots had a higher level of phenolic acids and beta-carotene than raw carrots, and the antioxidant activities continued to rise over a period of 4 weeks 3 .
Adding some carrot peels to a carrot puree also increased antioxidant levels.Therefore, while Your Health Tubers generally recommend consuming your vegetables fermented or raw for the most nutrition, carrot might be one case where gentle cooking, as steaming, is ideal.
Health Benefits of Carrots
Regularly consuming carrot juice or carrots benefit the body in so many incredible ways. An overwhelming body of evidence exists claiming that increased intake of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits reduce cardiovascular diseases and cancer risks, carrot included 4 5 . Following, we present you some amazing reasons to include carrots in your diet:
- Prevent Cancer
Various dietary carotenoids have been proven to have anti-cancer effects due to their antioxidant powers in reducing free radicals in the body.
- Colon cancer: Beta-carotene consumption has been proven to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the population in Japan. 8
- Prostate cancer: Diet rich in beta-carotene among younger people, may protect against prostate cancer, according to a research provided by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. 9
- Leukemia: An extract from carrot juice was shown to destroy leukemia cells and stop their development in a 2011 study. 10
- Restore Vision
Vitamin A deficiency causes deterioration of the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors, and can damage the normal vision, according to Duke ophthalmologist Jill Koury, MD. Correcting vitamin A deficiency with foods high in beta-carotene will repair vision 11 .
Experts claim that it’s unlikely that most individuals will experience any major positive changes in their vision from consuming carrots, except they have an existing vitamin A deficiency that is usually common in many developing countries.
- Lower Cholesterol Levels
Carrot is rich in soluble fiber, mainly from pectin that can be the reason they’ve been proven to lower cholesterol. People who ate around 1 cup of carrots every day for 3 weeks lowered their levels of cholesterol, according to a U.S. government study 12 .
- Improve Bone Health
This superfood vegetable also contains little amounts of other essential nutrients such as calcium (96 mg per 1 cup serving) and vitamin C (5 mg per 1 cup serving). Many people, particularly post-menopausal women, do not get enough calcium, well, while carrots may not contain much – but every little bit can help.
- Prevent Memory Loss
According to a Netherlands study, middle-aged persons who consumed the lowest amount of root vegetables indicated more than 3 times as much cognitive decline as people who consumed the most. Scientists concluded that the beta-carotene in the vegetables—particularly from carrot—protected the central nervous system against aging 13 . In accordance with eighteen-year Harvard study, men ate 50 mg supplements of beta-carotene on 2 days, delayed the cognitive decay for an equivalent of 1 -1.5 years, compared to individuals who took a placebo 14 . Find more brain foods to improve your memory naturally: LINK
- Prevent Diabetes
Carrots benefits are so powerful due to their beta-carotene content, which is a great antioxidant related with lower risk of diabetes. A research showed that people with the most beta-carotene in their blood had 32% lower levels of insulin than those with lower beta-carotene levels 15 .
Carrots Nutrition Facts
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, ½ cup of chopped carrots or 1 medium carrot is considered a serving size 16 .
1 serving size of carrots provides about:
- 25 calories
- 6 grams’ carbohydrate
- 3 grams’ sugar
- 1-gram protein
Plus, carrots are an exceptional source of vitamin A, providing 210% of the recommended daily doses. They also provide 2% of calcium requirements, 2% of iron requirements per serving, and 6% of vitamin C needs.
It’s the antioxidant beta-carotene responsible for the bright orange color of the carrots. Beta-carotene is normally absorbed in the intestine and transformed into vitamin A during digestion.
Carrots also contain vitamin K, fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and vitamin E.
How to consume carrots?
If you want to include carrots in your well-balanced diet, I suggest eating them in various ways for the most benefits.
- Raw Carrots
The fiber content of carrot might be higher in raw carrots since it’s not broken down with cooking. Raw carrots could be a great snack, therefore, pack some in a plastic bag to take with you to work, or give your kids as a snack for school.
- Cooked Carrots
Eating cooked carrots along with fresh carrot juice is also significant, as some scientists have found that cooked carrots might have higher antioxidant activities than raw carrots. You should balance carrot juice out with some other vegetable juices, which are lower in carbohydrates. You can add carrots to stews, soups, or simply lightly cook them in some coconut oil for a tasty side dish.
- Juiced Carrots
Juicing is a fantastic way to include carrots in your diet, but do not overdo it as blending carrots eliminates the fiber and can increase the content of sugar.
How to store carrots?
Keep your carrots in the coolest part of your fridge wrapped in a paper towel or in a sealed plastic bag, which should keep them fresh for around 2 weeks. You should avoid storing them near pears, potatoes, or apples, as the ethylene gas carrots release can turn the carrots bitter.
Carrot Side Effects
Overconsumption of vitamin A may be toxic to humans, however, is unlikely to be achieved only through diet (most vitamin overconsumption happens by supplementation). Carotene overconsumption might cause a slight orange tinge in skin color, though is not harmful to health.
Carrots are probably best known for their great supply of the powerful antioxidant nutrition called: beta-carotene, responsible for most carrots benefits. But, this root vegetable is also a great source of various antioxidants and many other health-supporting nutrients. In the past few years, carrots showed excellent results in treating cancer and many cardiovascular diseases.