Are carrots good for you? Carrots (Daucus carota) are considered one of the most nutritious and most consumed root vegetables in history. Whether eaten raw, cooked, fermented, or juiced, they taste great, and their vibrant color makes food more attractive and difficult to resist.
Carrots come in different colors, including white, yellow, red, orange, and purple. However, orange carrots are the best-known and most commonly consumed. They get their color from beta-carotene, one of the carotenoid antioxidants and a precursor for the active form of vitamin A.
Beta-carotene is also the active compound behind most carrot benefits, including improved vision, strengthened immunity, and improved skin health.
This article tells you everything you need to know about carrots and why they can be good for your health and wellbeing.
Also, see, Are Beets Good For You? Are Avocados Good For You? and Are Garbanzo Beans Good For You?
A cup of raw chopped carrots contains:
- Calories: 52.5
- Protein: 1.2 grams
- Carbohydrates:12.3 grams
- Fiber:3.6 grams, or 14 percent of the daily requirement
- Sugar:6.1 grams
- Vitamins A:21383 IU or 428 percent of the daily requirement
- K:16.9 mcg, or 21 percent of the daily requirement
- C: 7.6 mg, or 13 percent of the daily requirement
- B6: 0.2 mg or 9 percent of the daily requirement
- Potassium:410 mg, or 12 percent of the daily requirement
- Thiamine: 0.1 mg, or 6 percent of the daily requirement
- Niacin: 24.3 mcg, or 6 percent of the daily requirement
- Manganese: 0.2 mg, or 9 percent of the daily requirement
Carrots also contain other health-beneficial compounds such as alpha-carotene, lutein, lycopene, anthocyanins, and polyacetylenes.
Other nutrients such as vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, and copper can also be found in carrots but in minimal amounts.
In addition, they are rich in water which occupies 86-97 percent of the carrot while about 10 percent consists of fiber.
If taking carrot juice, these parameters may be slightly different. For instance, carrot juice is slightly high in carbohydrates but with a high concentration of vitamins A, B6, C, K, and potassium.
Carrot Recipes To Prepare
- Air Fryer Carrot Fries
- Carrot Top Chimichurri Sauce
- Carrot And Celery Soup
- Maple Glazed Carrots
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Celery Salt
Why are Carrots Good for You?
1. They can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke
If you’re like most people, you probably eat carrots because they taste good. But did you know that carrots are great for your heart? Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; however, eating deep-colored vegetables such as carrots may help lower your risk.
Carrots are loaded with nutrients that can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study found that people who ate a serving of carrots daily had a 20 percent lower risk of developing heart disease compared to those who didn’t eat carrots.
Another study found that people who ate the most carrots had a 42% lower risk of heart disease than people who ate the least. This was linked to its antioxidant protection, which helps protect the cells from damage, which may lead to less inflammation and better blood flow, which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
For instance, carrots are a great source of beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps protect the heart and circulatory system. Carrots also contain alpha-carotene, another type of carotenoid present in colored vegetables. It acts as an antioxidant, fighting inflammation and preventing the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), which may lead to atherosclerosis. In addition, carrots contain a type of soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin may bind to cholesterol and promote its elimination.
Further research shows that consuming carrot juice increases the body’s antioxidant defense while reducing oxidative stress regardless of other cardiovascular risks.
2. Promotes eye health
Looking out for your eyesight is important, not just when you’re driving or working but all the time.
Carrots specifically contain 3-eye nutrients, namely beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These are incredible for maintaining good eyesight and night vision and promoting general eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin lower the risk of age-related vision loss, while beta carotene is especially important in preventing eye disorders such as macular degeneration (MAD) and blindness,
According to a study published in the journal Ophthalmology, people who eat carrots every day are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50.
The study looked at data from more than 10,000 people who were followed for an average of 7 years. The participants were asked about their dietary habits and whether they had developed AMD during that time. Those who ate at least one serving of cooked carrots every day were 37% less likely to develop AMD than those who didn’t eat any carrots. The study found no link between eating carrots and developing other forms of eye disease, such as cataracts or glaucoma.
Beta carotene is also a precursor to vitamin A, meaning the body converts it into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for eye health and can help prevent blindness. Carrots can also help protect the eyes from harmful light and pollutants, and they may help reduce further risks of age-related eye problems.
Whether you eat raw carrots or drink carrot juice, they all offer the same eye benefits and can help keep your eyes healthy throughout the years.
3. Reduce the risk of cancer
Carrots are a great way to add cancer-fighting nutrients to your diet. According to the National Cancer Institute, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, are powerful antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of some cancers, including breast, ovarian, colon, stomach, and prostate cancers.
In one study, high levels of carotenoids in the body were shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. According to another study, a high dietary beta-carotene intake may lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Carrots also contain fiber, which helps keep the digestive system healthy. Fiber can also help reduce the risk of having bowel conditions, including colon cancer.
One study showed that people who ate two or more servings of carrots each week were 20 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who didn’t eat any. The study also showed that eating lots of carrots won’t protect you from other types of cancers, such as lung or breast cancer. A lab study also found that rats fed a diet high in carrots reduced the development of colon cancer.
4. Promotes brain health and protects against cognitive impairment
Carrots are a great way to reduce oxidative stress and protect your brain from damage. Oxidative stress is a term used to describe the body’s response to excessive amounts of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are unstable and can cause damage to cells, tissues, and organs. Oxidative stress has been linked to a number of health problems, including cognitive impairment.
Regular consumption of vegetables rich in antioxidants, like carrots, may help protect against cognitive impairment. The antioxidants prevent inflammation in the brain, which may weaken nerve signaling and impair cognitive functions. This will help protect against age-related cognitive impairment, such as in Alzheimer’s disease.
Carrots may also help improve memory and learning skills. One study found that eating carrots can help improve memory and learning skills. The study participants who ate the most carrots had better recall abilities than those who ate the least amount of carrots. In addition, those who ate the most carrots had improved problem-solving skills as well.
Carrots can also promote gut health, which has been directly linked to improved brain health and mental wellbeing.
5. Promotes skin health and wound healing
If still wondering whether carrots are good for you, they can maintain your skin and promote wound healing. Carrots have been used to promote wound healing for centuries, thanks to their high levels of beta-carotene. They fight infections, reduce inflammation, and increase your ability to heal faster.
Carrots are also a great source of vitamins A and C, both of which are essential for skin health. These nutrients help keep skin hydrated and free from blemishes. Carrots also contain beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight inflammation and other signs of skin damage.
Carrot juice is also a common remedy for glowing and healthy skin. Besides, carrot-based skincare products, such as lotions, clearly show carrots are pretty good for the skin.
Other compounds in carrots that promote healthy skin include lutein lycopene. Besides promoting healthy vision and sleep habits, lutein lycopene can protect against harmful UV rays. This can prevent sunburns and skin damage that may result in premature signs of aging.
6. They are rich in antioxidants
An antioxidant is a compound that can prevent or slow cell damage associated with harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that form during normal metabolic processes or from external sources such as pollution. A high concentration of free radicals can cause cell damage if not neutralized, leading to mutations that may cause chronic conditions, including cancer.
Carrots contain high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C, lutein, lycopene, polyphenols, and zeaxanthin, which work together to boost immunity and prevent oxidative damage.
7. Carrots may promote weight loss
With more and more people being overweight or obese, it’s more important than ever to start working on your own weight loss, and carrots may be one of the simplest things you can do to help.
They are low-calorie, high-fiber food that promotes fullness without too much calorie intake. This causes your body to operate at a calorie deficit, making you burn fat.
Additionally, carrots stimulate the production of adiponectin, a hormone that can help reduce the number of calories being stored in the body.
Vitamin A in carrots may also help reduce weight gain and promote fat loss. Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that people who ate carrots daily lost more weight and body fat than those who didn’t. The study participants who ate carrots lost an average of 2.7 pounds over the course of 16 weeks, while the group that didn’t eat carrots gained an average of 1.8 pounds.
The best way to boost its ability to cause weight loss is to enjoy it raw as a snack instead of processed carbohydrates. You can also include it in salads along with other healthy foods.
8. Improves liver health
The liver performs many important functions, including Processing food into energy, making proteins, keeping your blood clean, storing vitamins and minerals, and helping maintain a healthy weight.
Carrots are a great way to improve these functions. They contain beta-carotene, which is a type of carotenoid that the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is an important nutrient for the liver because it helps it break down and remove harmful chemicals from the blood.
One study found that people who ate a daily serving of carrots had a lower risk of developing chronic hepatitis C. Another study found that people who ate a diet high in carrots were less likely to develop cirrhosis, a serious complication of liver disease.
9. Supports healthy teeth
According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, eating a diet high in carrots can help reduce inflammation in the mouth. This inflammation is linked to gum disease and tooth decay, so by reducing it, carrot consumption may help improve oral health. They can also promote healthy gums and prevent plaque formation.
Carrots are great root vegetables, widely consumed all over the world. They can be consumed in multiple ways, including raw, cooked, juiced, or fermented.
They are rich in nutrients such as fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting compounds. The highly concentrated nutrients include beta carotene, vitamin C, K, and B6, lutein, alpha-carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin.
Their regular consumption can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, promote weight loss, enhance skin health and wound healing, improve eye health, reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, promote brain health, and prevent cognitive decline.
Other root vegetables:
- Ratalu (Ube)
- Sweet Potato
- Celery Root
- Malanga Coco
- Watermelon Radish
- Yellow Yam
- Fennel Bulbs
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