People have been eating carrots for over 5,000 years. The vegetable originated in the Middle East and Afghanistan and was initially available only in purple and yellow colors. The familiar orange carrot was developed only later, in the 1600s.
Promote Eye Health
Vitamin A, in recommended quantities, is essential for good vision, and carrots offer the nutrient in abundance. If a person is deprived of vitamin A for too long, the outer segments of the eyes’ photoreceptors begin to deteriorate. This leads to night blindness.
Insufficient vitamin A can disrupt the normal chemical processes involved in vision. Restoring adequate vitamin A intake can facilitate vision health.
Reduce Risk of Cancer
Carrots contain numerous phytochemicals that are well-studied for their anticancer properties. A few of these compounds include beta-carotene and other carotenoids. These compounds promote immunity and activate certain proteins that inhibit cancer cells. Studies show that the juice from carrots can combat leukemia as well.
The carotenoids present in carrots may reduce the risk of stomach, colon, and prostate, lung, and breast cancers in women.
Some believe carrots may also reduce oral cancer risk. However, more research is warranted in this regard.
Promote Skin Health
Carrots are rich in carotenoids. Research suggests that fruits and vegetables rich in these compounds can improve skin appearance and also help people look relatively younger.
However, overconsuming carrots (or other foods high in carotenoids) can result in a condition called carotenemia, wherein your skin appears yellow or orange.
Enhance Hair Growth
Carrots are powerhouses of vitamins A and C, carotenoids, potassium, and other antioxidants. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the veggies may contribute to hair health. However, more research is needed in this regard.
Aid Weight Loss
Raw, fresh carrots are about 88% water. A medium carrot has only about 25 calories. Hence, including carrots in your diet is a smart way of filling yourself up without piling on calories.
Carrots also contain fiber. In a study, meals containing whole and blended carrots resulted in higher satiety levels in the test subjects.
Regulate Blood Pressure
One study claimed that carrot juice contributed to a 5% reduction in systolic blood pressure. The nutrients present in carrot juice, including fiber, potassium, nitrates, and vitamin C, were found to aid this effect.
Aid Diabetes Treatment
Following a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In studies, low blood levels of vitamin A were found in individuals with diabetes. The abnormalities in glucose metabolism would need an increased need to fight oxidative stress, and this is where the antioxidant vitamin A may help.
Carrots are high in fiber. Studies show that increased fiber intake can improve glucose metabolism in individuals with diabetes. The veggies can be added to a diabetes meal.
Vitamin A regulates the functioning of your system and prevents infections. It achieves this by boosting your body’s immunity. Get this immune-boosting vitamin from carrots. Carrots also contain vitamin C that contributes to the production of collagen, which is essential for wound healing. This nutrient further contributes to a strong immune system.
Vitamin A influences bone cell metabolism. Carotenoids are associated with improved bone health. Though there is no direct research stating that carrots can help improve bone health, their vitamin A content may help. More studies are needed to further understand this mechanism.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
As per rat studies, carrot consumption can reduce cholesterol absorption and increase the antioxidant status of your body. These effects can also promote cardiovascular health. Raw carrots are also rich in a fiber called pectin that may help lower cholesterol.
Good for the Teeth and Gums
Chewing of carrots may promote oral cleanliness. Some believe carrots may also freshen breath, though there is no research to substantiate the statement. Anecdotal evidence suggests that carrots may neutralize the citric and malic acids usually left behind in your mouth, promoting oral health.
Promote Liver Health and Eliminate Toxins
Carrots contain glutathione. The antioxidant was found to have the potential to treat liver damage caused by oxidative stress. The veggies are also high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and support your overall liver function. The beta-carotene in carrots may also combat liver diseases.
Help Treat PCOS
Carrots are non-starchy veggies with a low glycemic index. These properties may make them a good treatment for PCOS. However, there is no direct research that states that carrots can help in PCOS treatment.
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