Thanks to their delicious flavorful and delightfully crisp bite, carrots are one of the most popular vegetables around. One of the greatest things about carrots is that they provide a host of wonderful health benefits that you can enjoy whether you like to eat them cooked, raw or in juice form. In fact, carrots are packed with tons of great vitamins and nutrients. In this article, we'll explore the many ways in which eating carrots is beneficial to your health, including which conditions and diseases it can prevent.
Vitamins and Nutrients
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins. When you eat a carrot, you're getting:
In addition to these vitamins, carrots also contain a range of excellent essential nutrients:
It's not just vitamins and minerals in your typical carrot, however. Carrots also contain a significant amount of antioxidant compounds, which result in many great benefits to the body. Additionally, carrots contain a large amount of organic compounds known as beta-carotene. Carrots also tend to be a great source of dietary fiber.
Preventing Disease and Sickness
Have you ever heard the common health claim that carrots will make your eyesight better? Thanks to the high content of vitamin A and beta-carotenes in this popular vegetable, that is actually a true statement. These elements help protect your vision, particularly your ability to see well in dim lighting conditions. As if that weren't enough, the beta-carotenes in carrots also help to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts, which are the primary cause of blindness in elderly individuals.
Surprisingly enough, the beta-carotenes in carrots have also been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. This seems to be especially true when it comes to lung cancer. Other cancers which may be prevented by the regular consumption of carrots include cancer of the breast, colon, bladder, cervix, prostate and esophagus.
Additionally, carrots have also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. In one study, participants who ate carrots every day for three weeks reduced their cholesterol levels by about 11 percent. Because high cholesterol levels may lead to heart disease, eating carrots is a great way to stay heart healthy at any age. Carrots and other root vegetables can considerably reduce your risk of heart disease.
Many people don't realize that while carrots are great for your eyes, they are also good for your brain. In fact, some scientists have noted the "carrot effect" and the reduced risk of stroke. Eating a carrot a day may reduce the risk of having a stroke by up to 68 percent. Another benefit of eating carrots in relation to stroke is patients who have previously suffered from a stroke are much more likely to recover if they have high levels of beta-carotenes. Additionally, carrots have also proven to be effective in regulating blood sugar thanks to their high carotenoid content. This makes them a great choice for preventing and treating diabetes.
Other Health Benefits
Carrots have been linked to a wide range of health benefits that are not related to the prevention of disease, but are just as useful for maintaining a happy, healthy life. For example, carrots have antiseptic properties that can be utilized as a laxative or a treatment for certain liver ailments. Meanwhile, the oil from carrots are sometimes used in cosmetics or lotions since they can keep skin moisturized, smooth and firm.
Carrot juice is often a great health tool in and of itself. For instance, carrot juice may be used to treat upset stomach, indigestion, peptic ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. Some people combine carrot juice with spinach and lemon juice to concoct a special remedy for constipation. Carrot soup is sometimes utilized to alleviate diarrhea and prevent vomiting.
Because carrots are a fat-soluble substance, they can actually be absorbed a little better when combined with some oil. For example, carrot juice can be combined with a drop of olive oil to make sure that the body gets all of the nutritious benefits of the carrots.
If you have concerns about your skin changing colors from consuming carrots, try not to worry. Though it is a real condition called carotoderma, where the skin turns slightly yellow or orange in color, it only occurs when an individual eats excessively large amounts of carrots on a daily basis. The change in skin tone is actually caused by the excess carotene in the blood reducing the body's ability to convert foods into vitamin A. If cartoderma does occur, all you need to do is to reduce your consumption of carrots. If that doesn't make the yellow or orange color disappear, contact your doctor to see if the problem could lie elsewhere.