Health benefits of carrots are enormous. Carrots are highly nutritious orange-colored vegetables. The vegetable contain loads of antioxidants, beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, and potassium. Carrots are crunchy, tasty vegetables with lots of health benefits. Unfortunately, most people underestimate the importance of carrot.
Carrots even have curative strength. Ancient Greeks and Romans used carrot as medicine but not as a vegetable, thanks to its vitamin A benefits. Carrot can be eatable as a vegetable, but cannot be usable as a vegetable. The reason is; it takes the form of a fruit, but is not a fruit because it is seedless in nature. Carrot is one of the healthiest foods in the world, and it has many beneficial compounds.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CARROTS: A LOOK AT THE SIX MAIN PLANT COMPOUNDS FOUND IN CARROTS:
- Lycopene: This compound is a bright red antioxidant. According to a study, the risk of a person developing cancer and heart disease can considerably decrease with the intake of lycopene.
- Beta-carotene: Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, particularly the orange-colored carrots. According to studies, cooked, rather than raw carrots contain more beta-carotene. Absorption is better (up to 6.5-fold) if the carrots are cooked.
- Alpha-carotene: This compound is an antioxidant that is convertible into vitamin A in the body.
- Lutein: This compound is common antioxidants in carrots. Lutein is mainly in the yellow and orange carrots and is important for eye health, according to research.
- Polyacetylenes: Recent research has identified bioactive compounds in carrots that may help protect against leukemia and other cancers. (See study links here and here).
- Anthocyanin: These antioxidants are in dark-colored carrots.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CARROTS
Lowers risk of cancer
Carrots are rich in carotenoids. Diets rich in carotenoids help protect against several types of cancer including stomach cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
Improves eye health
Vitamin A deficiency exposes a person to night blindness, and other eye-related diseases. Carrot is rich in carotenoids and vitamin A, which can cut down the risk of eye disease and help improve eye health. Apart from enhancing the eyesight, carrots help to prevent throat and urinary tract infections. Carrots contain significant amounts of vitamins B2 and C as well as iron, phosphorus, chlorine and calcium.
Helps lower blood cholesterol
One major sign or risk factor of developing heart disease is high blood cholesterol. Carrot consumption lowers cholesterol levels.
Aids in weight loss
Carrots are low in calorie. Therefore, consuming this nutritious vegetable would help keep you fuller for longer and decrease calorie intake in subsequent meals. People who wish to lose some pounds may benefit from adding carrot to their meal. A medium-size carrot has twenty-one calories.
Enhances hair growth
Carrots are rich in carotenoids, potassium, vitamins A and C, and other antioxidants. These help to improve hair growth and boost growth.
Promote skin health
Carrot contains carotenoids, which can help improve complexion and make the skin to glow. Avoid consuming carrots in excess as it can cause your skin to appear orange or yellow, a condition called carotenosis.
Vitamin A present in carrot can help strengthen your bones by stimulating bone cell metabolism. The beta-carotene in carrots is a strong antioxidant that is linkable with bone health.
Promote liver health
According to studies, consuming carrots may help promote liver health by detoxifying the liver. Thanks to the presence of a super molecule called glutathione in carrots. In addition, carrots are rich in vitamin A, which can help ward off liver diseases. The presence of beta-carotene in carrots also supports general liver function.
The veggies are also high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and support your overall liver function. More so, the vitamin A in carrots also combats liver diseases.
Aid diabetes treatment
You can cut down your risk of type2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet. According to research, vitamin A contained in carrots may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Strengthens teeth and gums
Raw crunchy carrots can help clear plaque from the teeth, leaving you with a fresh breath that lingers for long. Chewing carrots can increase salivation, thereby neutralizing the citric and malic acids usually left behind in your mouth after meals.
HOW TO CONSUME CARROT TO DERIVE ITS FULL BENEFITS
Eating carrots can be in its raw form, boiled, or juiced. Apart from chewing on carrot in its raw form as, you can equally add it to green salads. Carrots can be grate with dates and raisins and dressing to give a salad an appealing and inviting look.
Have you ever thought of using carrot for a fruit mold? You can achieve this by grating carrots and pineapple mixed with lemon and lime gelatin.
You can use a vegetable juicer to grate carrots and extract the juice. You can drink the carrot juice in its form or add it with other juices.
As we discussed earlier, cooked carrots contains loads of beta-carotene. However, you have to know how to prepare it to derive its full benefits.
HOW TO COOK CARROTS
Most people make the mistake of boiling carrots with lot of water and pouring out the water when the carrot is soft. This is a wrong way of cooking it.
The right way of cooking to get maximum health benefits of carrot is:
- Instead of scraping the skin off carrots, clean it with a stiff brush
- Wash it thoroughly with clean water to get rid of dirt
- Chop carrots to desired shapes and sizes
- Pour into a pan and add little water, butter, and salt to taste
- Boil for five minutes or until it gets soft
You can serve cooked carrots with chives or finely sliced onions for added flavor. Carrots prepared this way are both tastier and more nutritious. You can also garnish your stew by adding carrots, whether Irish or lamb.
There are other ways to make good culinary use of carrots. They include carrot pie, carrot custard, carrot cake, or carrot soup.
Apart from the orange-colored stalk people consume, carrot greens are also not very useful. Carrot greens are rich in vitamin K, and can be usable to garnish salads.
Carrots are crunchy, nutritious, delicious, and low in calories. Several studies have linked them to eye and heart health, weight loss, and improved digestion. Equally, carrots comes in several colors, sizes, and shapes, all of which contains vitamins and antioxidants that are all beneficial to our body.
We have shown with scientific evidences that carrots are valuable to fighting diabetes, improving liver and bone health. Carrot also aid in weight loss, boosting hair growth, skin health, and many other health-related benefits. Additionally, carrot helps to fight diarrhea, particularly in infants. To use carrot for this purpose, prepare a carrot puree or sieved carrots.
The average recommended consumption of carrot is about one or two carrots on a daily basis. In addition, carrot greens contain higher levels of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and protein. They can be a little bitter if eaten raw, instead cook it with a little olive oil and salt to soften the harsh flavor.
Lastly, the carotenoids contained in carrots are convertible into vitamin A in the human body. You can agree with us that the health benefits of carrots are far higher than imagined.