Health experts consider carrots as one of the ultimate health foods. Carrots are loaded with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, K and B8, along with pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper and manganese. Most of the health benefits of carrots can be attributed to their high beta-carotene and fiber content.
Carrots are readily available year-round and can be eaten raw or cooked. They go well in salads and soups, as well as a stand-alone vegetable for snacks and side dishes. The crunchy texture and sweet taste of carrots are liked by both adults and children.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of carrots.
1. Improves Vision
The first and foremost health benefit of carrots is healthy vision. Carrots contain a high amount of vitamin A, which has a direct impact on eyesight.
Plus, the beta-carotene present in carrots has been shown to protect against macular degeneration, glaucoma and age-related cataracts.
So, start eating carrots today and you will soon notice significant positive changes in your vision.
2. Fights Cancer
Another very important health benefit of carrots is the anti-cancer effects, which come from their carotenoid antioxidant power that helps reduce free radicals in the body. Also, carrots improve the body’s immunity power to fight against the disease.
Research has shown that carrots contain phytonutrients called polyacetylenes and other components that inhibit cancer growth. In most studies, consuming one and one-half cups of carrot juice daily for a few weeks produced significant positive results.
Also, regular consumption of carrots has been shown to lower the risk of lung, colorectal and prostate cancers.
3. Combats Cardiovascular Diseases
Carrots are extremely good for heart and blood pressure patients. They contain beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, which are antioxidants that fight cholesterol and also help reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Plus, the potassium in carrots can relax tension in your blood vessels and arteries, which in turn helps increase blood flow and circulation and reduce stress on the cardiovascular system.
Next time you start getting stressed about something and your blood pressure begins to rise, simply eat a carrot!
4. Improves Oral Health
Carrots are very good for overall oral health. When this crunchy vegetable is eaten, it scrapes off plaque and food particles and thus helps keep the teeth and gums clean.
Plus, carrots stimulate the production of saliva that, being alkaline, balances out acidity and bacteria in the mouth and in turn prevents cavities, halitosis and other oral health problems. Carrots are also a good source of vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant that helps maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth and gums.
So, munch on carrots to keep your teeth healthy and strong for years.
5. Protects the Liver
Carrots help protect your liver from the toxic effects of environmental chemicals. The high amount of vitamin A in carrots plays a key role in flushing out toxins from the body. Plus, it reduces the bile and fat deposits in the liver. Also, the soluble fiber in carrots helps cleanse the liver and colon by facilitating waste elimination.
Eating carrots regularly will help prevent inflammation or infection of the liver that can lead to liver diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis and cholestasis.
6. Maintains Skin Health
Being rich in vitamin A and various other antioxidants, carrots are also good for the skin. Carrots help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and also help in repairing damaged skin tissue.
In fact, drinking carrot juice in the summer acts as a powerful natural sun block. Carrots also help keep the skin moisturized and prevent acne, pigmentation, blemishes and uneven skin tone.
Plus, carrots keep the skin healthy, glowing and vibrant. You can even make a simple and easy face mask with carrots to get glowing skin. Mix two tablespoons of grated carrots with some honey and apply it on the face and neck area. Allow it to dry, and then wash it off with warm water.
7. Promotes Digestive Health
This crunchy root vegetable contains a significant amount of dietary fiber that helps maintain good digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to stools to help them pass smoothly through the digestive tract. Plus, fiber stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices.
Regular consumption of carrots will help keep bowel movements regular, prevent constipation and acid reflux, and protect your colon and stomach from various illnesses.
8. Prevents Stroke
According to research conducted by scientists at Harvard University, people who eat carrots daily are 68 percent less likely to suffer from a stroke than those who eat them less often.
In fact, eating a carrot daily can reduce the risk of stroke by 68 percent. This is due to the high level of beta-carotene in carrots.
To lower your risk of having a stroke, start eating carrots at least five times a week.
9. Regulates Blood Sugar
Carrots may have high sugar content, but they are still a healthy choice for those who are diabetic. The natural sugar in carrots is easily assimilated. Although carrots have a reputation of a relatively high glycemic index, bear in mind that they have a very low glycemic load.
Also, the carotenoids present in carrots help regulate blood sugar. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus help lower blood sugar. The vital organic alkaline elements in carrots also help balance blood sugar levels.
To help live a healthy life, people with diabetes can eat one-half cup of cooked carrots or one cup of raw carrots daily. It is best to eat them in juice or raw form for this purpose.
10. Delays Aging Effects
If you wish to look younger for years to come, start eating carrots today. Carrots are known as a powerful anti-aging vegetable as they can effectively slow down cellular aging. This is mainly due to the high beta-carotene content that delays cell damage in the body due to regular metabolism.
Plus, being a rich source of vitamin C, carrots aid collagen production. Collagen is vital for maintaining skin elasticity that helps prevent wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of aging. To maintain a youthful appearance, simply drink a glass of carrot juice daily.
The many medicinal and health benefits of carrots, along with their delicious taste, will surely motivate you to include more carrots in your diet. Carrots eaten raw, as juice or cooked are always a good choice for your health!
About Ms. Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, CCMS, LMHC, FAND: Lisais an award winning nutrition expert & Chef based in Miami, Florida. She has built a global integrative culinary sports nutrition & performance private practice & corporate consulting business working with Olympian athletes, Fortune 500 corporate executives, movie actors & actresses, politicians, and prestigious luxury resorts such as Ritz Carlton, Sandals & Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Lisa designs, writes, and presents delicious dishes, menus and diets for more than 3 decades and travels worldwide sharing the “gospel” of good food, fresh tastes and plant based cuisine. Her passion for food, fitness, emotional balance and for life is contagious and she shares that passion with her colleagues and guests.