Carrots: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Carrots: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Carrot is one of the healthiest additions you can make to the vegetable list of your diet.

Indeed, these root vegetables come with many beneficial compounds.

They are beta-carotenes, falcarinol, vitamin A, minerals and antioxidants.

Carrot is so well-known that people use April 4th to celebrate the International Carrot Day.

Facts have shown that carrots have many beneficial health effects.

Not only are they good friend of weight loss process but they also help with high cholesterol levels.

Especially, there is a strong connection between carrot consumption and eye health improvement.

This article focuses on providing people with carrot nutrition facts and top 7 Health Benefits of Carrots.

Nutrition Facts

Carrots - Nutrition Facts

The first appearance of carrots was in North America around the 1600s.

In fact, carrots include many colors including yellow, white, orange, red and purple.

However, people appear to be most familiar with the orange varieties.

While the main content of carrots is water , carbohydrates rank the second (12, 3).

Moreover, carrots are quite low in fat and protein.

The carbs in carrots mainly contain starch and sugars (4).

Regarding glycemix index – a ranking of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels after eating, carrots score low.

The glycemix index of carrots varies from 16 to 60.

While raw carrots rank the lowest, the highest belongs to pureed carrots (5).

In fact, foods which are low in glycemix index can lead to great health improvement.

Especially, they are good for diabetic patients (6).

Also, carrots include both soluble and insoluble fiber.

In fact, soluble fibers can lower blood sugar levels thanks to their ability to slow down sugar and starch digestion.

Moreover, soluble appears to feed the friendly bacteria in the gut.

Thus, it results in health improvement and reduced danger of some certain diseases (7, 8).

On the other hand, insoluble fibers can lower the risk of constipation (9).

Additionally, carrots are powerhouse of many vitamins and minerals.

To specify, vitamin A which is converted from beta-carotene in carrots is good for vision.

Also, vitamin A is beneficial for the overall growth and immunity function (10).

Biotin plays an essential role in fat and protein metabolism (11).

Vitamin K1 is necessary for blood coagulation. It can also lead to bone health improvement (12, 13).

Potassium is an indispensable mineral for maintaining blood pressure.

Furthermore, carrots are rich in many plant compounds.

However, the best known plant compounds should be carotenoids.

Serving as a powerful antioxidant, carotenoids are good for immunity system.

Moreover, these compounds can have good impacts on certain heart diseases as well as some types of cancer (14).

Bottom line: an extensive diversity of nutrients is good explanation for benefits of carrots.

Health Benefits of Carrots

Here are top 7 benefits of carrots which you should know.

1. The Risk of Cancer

One of mechanisms behind benefits of carrots is its anti-cancer effect.

Cancer is one of the biggest threats of people’ live.

It emerges when cells inside the body grow uncontrolled.

In fact, diets which are high in carotenes may prevent the risk of some cancer types.

They are prostate cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer (15, 16, 17).

For female, breast cancer is always a common dread.

Some studies indicated that high content of carotenoids may reduce the chance of breast cancer in women (18).

Also, an older study claimed that carotenoids may prevent lung cancer development.

However, a recent study was not for this protective impact (19, 20).

Interestingly, carrots are rich in carotenoids.

Bottom line: Carrots can prevent some certains types of cancer from their early stage thanks to their packing with carotenoids.

2. High Blood Pressure

Carrots - High Blood Pressure

The massive benefits of carrots make it beneficial for high blood pressure.

Undeniably, high blood pressure is among deciding factors which can increase the risk of heart disease.

In fact, carrots are high in potassium – a vasodilator which can relax blood vessel and artery tension.

As a result, carrot consumption may increase blood flow, leading to lower blood pressure.

Several studies have suggested that carrot intake could decrease cholesterol levels (21).

Bottom line: Carrot consumption may leave good impacts on high blood pressure – one of the most common factors which can lead to heart diseases.

3. Weight Loss

When it comes to benefits of carrot, people usually mention its effect on weight loss process.

Obesity is always an issue of concern for many people, especially women.

In fact, the participation of carrots in meal can effectively increase satiety.

It may also reduce calorie intake – the enemy of overweight condition (22).

How to process carrots for weight loss

  • Heat the butter in a large pot over meidum heat
  • Add some onion and garlic
  • Cook, cover and stir until they turn soft
  • Add the carrots and leave it on 3 minutes
  • Season the soup with the salt
  • Bring it to boil under lower heat in 30 minutes
  • Remove the heat and allow to cool
  • Transfer the carrot mixture to a blender and puree until smooth

4. Eye Health

Besides the above mentioned benefits of carrots, improving vision is also another amazing effect.

In fact, individuals who lack required amount of vitamin A may be prone to night blindlness.

Luckily, carrot consumption can help with this problem (23).

Also, carotenoids in carrots will lower the risk of macular degeneration (24, 25, 26).

5. Diabetes

Carrots - Diabetes

It is regreful to witness the increasing number of diabetes patients.

Undeniably, stable blood sugar levels play a vital part in controlling diabetes development.

And carrots are good for blood sugar regulatation due to the presence of carotenoids (27).

In fact, carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance.

Thus, it lowers blood sugar to help diabetic patients live a normal, healthy life.

6. Digestion

Another benefits of carrots can be listed as anti digestive problems.

Carrots, like most vegetables, consist of significant amount of dietary fiber.

And fiber will maintain good digestive health (28).

In reality, fiber adds bulk to stool, which assists in passing smoothly through the digestive tracts.

Also, fiber can stimulate peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices.

Altogether, this may reduce the seriousness of other digestive issues including constipation (29).

Bottom line: Thanks to an abundant source of fiber, carrots can improve digestive function and treat some digestive problems.

7. Immune System

Carrots - Immune System

Carrots can be act as an immune booster since they provide our body with a lot of vitamin A (30).

In fact, vitamin A is essential for a good immune health.

This nutrient may maintain a healthy state of immune system.

As a result, it may create barriers against invasion of foreign elements and protect our body system.

To enhance the effectiveness of carrots, you should add a little fat into your carrot salad.

This will increase the deliciousness of your salad and the nutritional value of carrots.

Take Home Message

In general, carrots are quite safe to eat.

However, they may also have some side effects in some people.

Particularly, an excessive consumption of orange carrot may make your skin turn yellow.

Also, 25% of individuals who consumed carrots might face allergic reactions (31).

In fact, carrots which are grown in contaminated soil may have greater amount of heavy metals.

Therfore, their safety and quality may be both negatively affected (32).

As a results, people should be cautious about the origin before cooking to make use of the benefits of carrots.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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