Carrots belong to the family of Umbelliferous family and are usually orange in color. They also vary in color like purple, red, yellow and even white and were cultivated long before the orange carrots. They were initially found in Europe and Asia. It is a root vegetable and can be used in cooking various cuisines. Carrots have a sweet taste and are crunchy when eaten raw. There are many health benefits of carrots as they have a high nutritional value. Let’s see the many essential nutrients in carrots and their benefits on the body.
20 Health Benefits Of Carrots
1. Nutritional Value
Carrots are rich in vitamins and minerals. A cup of carrots contains 52.5 Kcal, total fat 0.3 g, 12.5 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g dietary fibers, 147 mg omega 6 fatty acids, 2.6 mg omega 3 fatty acids and 6.1 g sugars. The vitamins in carrots are Vitamin A, 7.6 mg of vitamin C, 16.9 ug of vitamin K, 0.8 mg of vitamin E, 0.1 mg thiamin, 0.3 mg pantothenic acid, 0.2 mg vitamin B6, 24.3 ug folate, 1.3 mg niacin and 0.1 mg riboflavin. It also contains minerals such as 0.4 mg iron, 44.8 mg phosphorous, 42.2 mg calcium, 88.3 mg potassium, 0.3 mg zinc, 0.2 mg manganese and 88.3 mg sodium. Thus, carrots are high in nutritional value.
2. Improves Eye Health
You may have heard many a times that carrots are good for your eyes. This is very true as carrots contain beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin which are crucial for boosting eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin prevents the onset of advanced age-associated vision loss and other disorders like macular degeneration. Carrots also contain vitamin A in good amounts that prevent night blindness (that is caused due to deficiency of Vitamin A) and formation of cataracts. This is one of the health benefits of carrots.
3. Anti Aging Properties
Carrots contain vitamin C in good amounts that help in the production of collagen. This collagen is important for promoting skin elasticity that helps in reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps in reducing skin blemishes and pigmentation thus, promoting a youthful looking skin.
4. Protects Against Sun Damage
Carrots contain beta carotene which helps in protecting against skin pigmentation. It also helps in reducing inflammation caused by the UV rays and heals sunburns. One of the benefits of carrot juice is that by consuming this, it can act as a natural sunscreen and protect skin damage.
5. Healing Properties
Carrots have anti inflammatory properties that can help in improving skin problems. It can heal cuts and wounds caused due to injuries, as it contains good amounts of anti oxidants that kill bacteria and pathogens. It also helps in reducing inflammation by applying it topically on the affected area. These are of the many important carrot health benefits.
6. Treats Skin Conditions
People suffering from skin conditions or ailments like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and acne; can consume carrots on a daily basis in order to reduce the symptoms of these conditions. They contain vitamin A and powerful antioxidants that help in not only reducing inflammation but also prevent skin infections. This is one of the many health benefits of carrots.
7. Treats Hair Loss
Carrots juice benefits the body as it contains important vitamins like Vitamin A, C and E that are crucial for promoting hair growth. These vitamins also strengthen the hair and prevent it from external damage. It promotes the growth of hair follicles and also improves the appearance of the hair.
8. Immunity Booster
Carrots contains vitamins and minerals that are crucial for building up the immunity. They also help in reducing deficiency of certain vitamins as well as minerals. The antioxidants present in them help in neutralizing free radicals and releasing harmful toxins from the body. Thus, adding carrots to your diet is highly beneficial for improving your immunity.
9. Prevents Heart Disease
High cholesterol leads to various heart ailments and may even prove fatal. They can increase the chances of strokes and heart attacks. Studies conducted by researchers have shown that consuming seven ounces of carrots per day for three weeks can reduce the cholesterol levels up to 11 percent. Another study concluded that people who consumed more amounts of carrots have a lesser chance of a heart attack as compared to the ones who ate lesser amounts of them. Carrots help in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol which is the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood vessels. The build up of LDL cholesterol in the body leads to blockage in arteries and blood vessels leading to heart attacks and other heart conditions. Carrots contain dietary fiber that helps in eliminating LDL cholesterol from the wall of the arteries as well as blood vessels and allows blood platelets to freely pass through the vessels; without the chance of forming blood clots.
10. Improves Digestion
One of the many health benefits of carrots is that they can improve digestion. This is due to the fact that it has a good amount of dietary fibers and also increases the absorption of essential minerals in the body. The dietary fiber helps in adding bulk to the stool and aiding it to pass through the digestive tract with ease. It also helps soften the stool so that it passes through the colon and prevents constipation. It also helps reduce the risk of bowel cancer, colorectal cancer as well as colon cancer.
11. Improves Oral Health
Carrots are rich in antioxidants that help in fighting against oral bacteria which lead to tooth cavities and tooth decay. These root vegetables also help induce the secretion of saliva which is alkaline in nature. This saliva helps in killing germs and pathogens that are responsible for bad breath. It also helps in reducing inflammation in the gums caused due to bacterial infections. This is one of the health benefits of carrots.
12. Prevents Strokes
Studies have shown that eating carrots can help reduce the risk of strokes by 68%. Studies have also shown where people with the highest levels of beta carotene are less likely to suffer from a stroke and thus, carrots can be life saving.
13. Reduces Symptoms Of Diabetes
Carrots help regulate blood glucose levels in the body as well as increases insulin sensitivity in the body. This is because of the carotenoids present in carrots that help in metabolizing glucose and prevents fluctuation of the blood glucose levels in the body.
14. Maintains Blood Pressure
Carrots contain high levels of potassium that acts as natural vasodilators. They help in strengthening the blood vessels and arteries and prevent stress on them. This helps in easing the flow of blood through these vessels and prevents blockage.
15. Prevents Lung Cancer
Studies have concluded that smokers that do not consume carrots have an increased risk in developing lung cancer as compared to those who consume them at least once a week. This may be due to the antioxidants and minerals present in them. This is one of the health benefits of carrots.
16. Prevents Colorectal Cancer
Carrots are high in dietary fibers that help in passage of stools through the colon without causing injuries. It also helps in preventing irregular bowel movements. According to a study beta-carotene also plays a role in protecting the colon from colon cancer.
17. Prevents Prostate Cancer
According to a study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, younger men that have diets rich in beta-carotene may have a protective role against developing prostate cancer. This may also be due to the other antioxidants that are present in carrots. This is one of the health benefits of carrots.
18. Promotes Liver Function
Carrots have abundance of vitamin A present in them. This vitamin A aids in releasing harmful toxins out of the body. By doing so, it helps to ease the load off the liver and also cleanses the colon from waste.
19. Pregnancy Benefits
Carrots health benefits are that they contain folate that is crucial in the development of the foetus. It helps to reduce the risk of foetal infections or birth defects. It also helps promotes the quality and production of breast milk in lactating mothers.
20. Improves Bone Health
Carrots contains calcium that helps improve bone health in adults and children. It also helps to increase bone density in post menopausal women and thus reduces the risk of calcium deficiency and other conditions.
Carrots can be bought at your local market or grocery store. They can be refrigerated for a few days and can be used in preparing salads and stews. They can also be eaten as a healthy snack for those who are trying to maintain or lose weight. Although, it should be noted that overconsumption of Vitamin A can be toxic to humans. It can also slightly pigment the skin and turn it orange like color.