One of the most versatile vegetables, carrots are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, providing a myriad of health benefits.
Famous for a signature orange color, carrots can also be in shades of yellow, purple, red, and white. They get their vivid color from carotenoids, which are antioxidants that fight cancer and boost immunity.
Carrots boast a lot of nutrition – whether they are raw or juiced. If you drink a cup of freshly juiced carrots, you will receive a healing power drink.
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From improving blood health, balancing blood sugar, reducing inflammation, relieving congestion, and protecting eyesight, to cleansing the kidneys, boosting brain function, and lowering the chance of Leukemia, carrots help your body function well and stay healthy.
Below are some of the most powerful carrot health benefits:
1.Reduce the cancer risk
Researchers claim that eating the high amounts of carotenoids from vegetables and fruit can prevent the development of different types of cancers.
Studies have proven that the antioxidants – carotenoids -in carrots have the ability to combat leukemia cells as well as might play a key role in decreasing the risk of the most widespread cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancers.
A scientific research conducted by Department of Nutritional Sciences, at the University of Arizona, demonstrated the effects of females with a history of breast cancer eating 8 ounces of fresh carrot juice and orange juice each day for three weeks.
The results proved that a daily consumption of fresh carrot juice increases the body’s defenses against breast cancer. Plus, a carrot consumption aids in increasing the amounts of protective antioxidants – carotenoids – in the blood system.
This treated inflammation and lowered oxidative stress, protecting against the development and growth of cancer.
2.Lower the risk factor for heart disease and stroke
Consuming a lot of deeply colored orange veggies such as carrots helps to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, particularly in women.
Without consideration for other heart disease risks, a recent research has indicated that eating carrots or drinking fresh carrot juice boost heart health by reducing oxidative stress. Plus, carrots help to protect the heart against different forms of heart disease.
Scientists believe that’s thanks to the high content of antioxidants that carrots and carrot juice contain. A daily consumption of carrots also manages the cholesterol levels and increases the bile production, which, in turn, improves the ability of the body to digest fats.
Not only does it help your digestive system to better absorb nutrients from the foods you eat, but also affects the good cholesterol levels, protecting your heart.
3.Carrots are a rich source of antioxidants
As mentioned above, carotenoids in carrots are powerful antioxidants that help to lower the risk factor for both temporary illnesses and conditions and serious chronic diseases.
Eating carrots or drinking fresh carrot juice helps to strengthen the immune system by protecting your body from harmful bacteria, free radical damage, chronic inflammation, and viruses.
The antioxidants in carrots, such as beta carotene (a form of vitamin A), vitamin C, lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin, are also known for their ability to improve vision and boost the energy levels.
Moreover, carrots are the high natural sources of antioxidant beta carotene and carotenoid phytochemicals, both of which ward off cancer by preventing DNA damage and cell mutation, and reducing the levels of inflammation.
4.Keep your eyes healthy
Three essential nutrients in carrots like zeaxanthin, lutein and beta carotene can significantly enhance your eye health.
If you don’t consume enough beta carotene, you have a higher risk of suffering from various forms of eye health issues and disorders, such as macular degeneration and vision loss.
On the other hand, zeaxanthin and lutein work together to decrease the risk of developing the age-related blindness or vision loss.
There’s about 400% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in a single cup of chopped carrots. Vitamin A found in carrots and carrot juice is in the form of beta carotene. It’s one of the most important nutrients for maintaining the eye health and improving vision, as you age.
The deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night blindness in the beginning, and if not treated, to a permanent blindness.
Thanks to its nutrients, carrots can also lower your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts, which are the most common causes of age-related vision loss, according to the scientists from the Gyeongsang National University, Republic of Korea.
Multiple studies have shown that eating carrots at least twice a day can aid in maintaining healthy eyes and good vision throughout the whole life. While it’s best to eat raw carrots, if you don’t like the taste, try drinking carrot juice or use carrots in your salads, soups, and pies.
5.Boost oral health
According to a French research, carrots contain nutrients that positively affect the immune system, including the ability of the body to combat toxins and bacteria that enter through your mouth and stay living within the teeth and gums.
A great number of minerals found in carrots provide an antibacterial effect and help to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Munching on carrots after each meal can even help to remove stains and plaque from teeth, and it’s much healthier than a chewing gum. Carrots also contain fiber that increases the immunity abilities and acts as a natural digestive system brush that scrubs away harmful bacteria in the gut and stimulates a proper digestion of immune-boosting vitamins and minerals.
6.Lower blood pressure
If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, or hypertension, make a carrot your favorite food since it’s effective in regulating high blood pressure.
Carrots are rich in potassium, which is a vasodilator that aids in relaxing the tension in the arteries and blood vessels, and thus improving circulation and blood flow. Plus, potassium takes an active part in increasing the organ function throughout the body and decreasing the stress and pressure put on the cardiovascular system.
Heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis have all been linked to high blood pressure; no wonder that carrots protect the heart. Additionally, the compound found in carrots called coumarin has been shown to protect the cardiovascular system by reducing high blood pressure.
Researchers from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karachi, Pakistan, suggested that a frequent carrot consumption is an effective hypertension treatment.
The results showed that carrots help to keep high blood pressure in check thanks to their ability to unblock the calcium channels, which are known for keeping optimum blood pressure.
7.Reduce blood cholesterol
100 grams of carrots contain almost 3 grams of soluble dietary fiber, which is critical for regulating cholesterol levels. The high cholesterol levels have been associated with heart disease so if not managed properly, cardiovascular issues can occur.
Fiber in carrots helps to decrease blood cholesterol levels as it binds to bile acids. The bile acids are formed of cholesterol and fiber helps to get them out of the system as waste.
This fact was approved by a group of researchers from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
A three-week research that involved people eating carrots each day showed that participants had a better cholesterol absorption and improved antioxidant action because of high carrot intake.
According to a research, participants with the high cholesterol levels experienced a significant reduction of cholesterol in the blood.
Plus, the USDA claims that eating 2 carrots a day can decrease the cholesterol levels by over 20%, bringing the overall cholesterol to healthy levels.
8.Promote weight loss
Low in calories and high in nutrients, carrots are the best food friends of dieters. A cup of chopped raw carrots contains about 50 calories while a cup of boiled carrots has 54 calories.
Despite their low calorie content, carrots help to feel full faster if you use them in your main meals. A study done by the British Journal of Nutrition, low-calorie vegetables, including carrots, are rich in fiber that ensures satiety and reduces the calorie intake.
9.Improve your digestive system
Like the majority of veggies, carrots contain have the large amounts of dietary fiber.
It’s a nutrient that supports strong digestive health by preventing constipation, increasing good bacteria, and managing hunger. Plus, fiber helps the foods pass smoothly and fast through the digestive tract by adding bulk to stool.
Fiber in carrots also helps to stimulate the secretion of gastric juices and a peristaltic motion. This helps to ward off many digestive woes and conditions, including bloating and constipation.
The findings done by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan, fiber rich foods like carrots aid in increasing the bowel movement frequency, reducing the likelihood of constipation.
By alleviating constipation, eating carrots helps to protect your stomach and colon from illnesses and diseases, such as colorectal cancer.
10.Prevent type 2 diabetes
Thanks to the high content of carotenoids, carrots aid in managing the blood sugar levels. Carotenoids invertedly affect the insulin resistance, thus reducing the glucose levels in the blood and helping patients with diabetes in regulating blood sugar spikes.
Carrots also aid in controlling the amount of insulin and glucose metabolized and used by the body, promoting a healthier fluctuation for those with type 2 diabetes.
A study done at the Stanford University School of Medicine showed that people with a genetic predisposition to diabetes might reduce their risk factor of developing type 2 diabetes by eating beta-carotene rich foods, albeit more research needs to be done to prove this fact.
Anyway, patients with type 2 diabetes can consider carrots a relatively safe food, in moderation, according to the American Diabetes Association. Carrots are the non-starchy vegetable, thus they do more good than harm.
Carrots make a healthy snack and a carrot juice is a delicious way to wake up in the morning. Incorporate more carrots into your daily diet to enhance your overall well-being.