Forget about vitamin A pills, with this orange crunchy super food you get vitamin A and a whole host of other powerful health benefits including beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti-aging. Carrots are so common in the US that its easy to overlook their potentially powerful benefits for your health. They come in many colors, such as purple, red, yellow and white, thanks to a variety of antioxidants they contain.What gives carrots their bright orange hue is the antioxidant beta-carotene, and this particular antioxidant is absorbed into the intestine and converted into vitamin A during digestion.
Carrots also contain fiber, vitamin K, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc which is why carrots boast a whole host of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Carrots
An overwhelming body of evidence exists suggesting that increased intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease risks, carrots included.
Antioxidants in carrots, including beta-carotene, play a large role in cancer prevention. Research has even shown that smokers who eat carrots more than once a week have a lower risk of lung cancer. Another study found that current smokers who did not consume carrots had 3X the risk of developing lung cancer, compared with those who ate carrots more than once a week.
The consumption of beta-carotene is also associated with a lower risk of colon and prostate cancerwhile carrot juice extract helps kill leukemia cells and inhibit their progression.
Carrots also contain falcarinol, a natural toxin that protects them against fungal disease, but it is also thought that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body, as it’s been shown to cut the risk of tumor development in rats.
Cleanses The Body
Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver, and the fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and flush waste from the body.
Eating more deep-orange-colored fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, and carrots in particular, are associated with a 32% lower risk.
From all the above benefits it is no surprise that in a Harvard University study, people who ate more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less.
Vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, which damages vision. Correcting vitamin A deficiencies with foods rich in beta-carotene will restore vision, lending truth to the old adage that carrots are good for your eyes.
Carrots have been found to be useful for the management of cognitive dysfunctions and offer memory improvement and cholesterol-lowering benefits.
Carrot extract can help protect the liver from the toxic effects of environmental chemicals.
Carrots also have anti-inflammatory properties and provided anti-inflammatory benefits that are significant even when compared to anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Celebrex.
Anti-Aging Benefits & Promotes Healthier Skin
The high level of beta-carotene helps slow down the aging of cells. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A in carrots prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. It also protects the skin from sun damage.
Carrots are also used as an inexpensive and very convenient facial mask. See my full recipe here:Hydrating & Cleansing Carrot Face Mask
Protects Teeth & Gums
Because of that crunch in every bite, carrots clean your teeth and mouth, as they scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes and toothpaste. Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria, so in other words, the minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage!
Helps Prevent Infection
Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used to heal cuts by shredding them raw, then boiling and mashing them and placing them on the wound.
Cooking Can Increase the Health Benefits of Carrots
There’s no doubt that carrots eaten raw are an excellent food, but there is some research showing that cooking them can help to boost their nutritional content. Interestingly, one study found that cooked carrots had higher levels of beta-carotene and phenolic acids than raw carrots, and the antioxidant activity continued to increase over a period of four weeks. Adding carrot peels to a carrot puree also boosted antioxidant levels.
So while it is generally recommend to eat vegetables raw or fermented for the maximum nutritional value, carrots may be one case where gentle cooking, such as steaming, is actually better for you.
Beware of Baby Carrots
Baby carrots, which are now one of the most popular carrot forms, were not invented until 1986, when a California carrot farmer created them to save some of the broken and misshaped carrots in his harvest. Baby carrots are not actually ‘baby’ carrots at all but rather are less-than-perfect carrots that have been shaved down to a smaller size. Not only are baby carrots more expensive than whole carrots, they’re also typically given a chlorine bath to prolong shelf life.
For this reason, it is generally recommend to purchase whole carrots instead of baby carrots, and also to find organic varieties just to be safe, as at one time, carrots were one of the most heavily pesticide-laden produce items.
At A Glance Guide of The Benefits Of Carrots
Forget about vitamin A pills, with this orange crunchy superfood you get vitamin A and a whole host of other powerful health benefits including beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti-aging.