Fun fact: We think of carrots as orange, but they can also be white, yellow, red, and purple.
More than its enticing orange color and sweet taste, carrot has become one of the top healthy choices for kids. But the nutrients of carrots are not only meant for children as they are perfectly beneficial for everyone of different ages.
Carrots (scientific name: Daucus carota) is a root vegetable belonging to the Apiaceae family, which consists of other vegetables like cumin, dill and parsley. They are predominantly orange in color, however other cultivar types or varieties of carrots are yellow, red, white, and purple in colors.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that 100 grams of carrots contains 41 calories with only 1% of the daily-recommended allowance of fat and without cholesterol.
This vegetable is also a good source of carbohydrates with 7% of the DRA. Carbohydrates are very important especially that it provides energy for the body most particularly to the brain and the nervous system. The carbohydrates, once inside the body, are turned into sugar, which is used for energy for the body organs and cells. Carrot also contains 7% of the DRA of dietary fiber.
Carrot is widely-acclaimed for the amount of vitamin A it yields. Every 100 grams of carrots contain 557% of the RDA of vitamin A. Similarly, this vegetable is also rich in phytonutrients like alpha- and beta-carotene. The carotenes are converted into vitamin A, which improves or maintains the health of cells in the eyes leading to good vision. Vitamin A is a great antioxidant to protect the body from free radical damages. It likewise plays a vital role in reproduction, growth, and development.
The water-soluble vitamin C about 10% of RDA functions as an antioxidant to guard the immune system and further prevent diseases. Carrot has 11% of RDA of vitamin K that helps prevent excessive bleeding and promotes normal blood clotting. Completing the rounds of vitamin found in carrots are folates and vitamin B complex.
Carrots are also moderate source of minerals like calcium and magnesium both at 3% of RDA, copper and phosphorus about 5% of RDA, iron at 4% of RDA, and manganese at 6% RDA. These minerals are deemed important to achieve overall health and wellness.
Because of its low calorie content, carrots are usually eaten as snacks either raw or as an ingredient in salad. However, great portion of the carrot’s calorie count rests on sugar.
The Health Benefits of Carrots
Carrots are branded to be the ultimate health vegetable because of its many beneficial effects to the human health. This fruit is jam-packed with minerals and vitamins needed by the body to achieve its optimal state. Behind the slightly unpleasant taste of carrots are its amazing health benefits. Have you ever wondered why carrots have a bright orange color? It is because of its high level of antioxidant content specifically called the beta-carotene. Beta carotene is responsible for the production of Vitamin A which is essential to the entirety of the body. Carrots also have potassium, fiber, folate, vitamins E and K, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, and zinc. Discover further all the benefits of these vitamins and minerals to your health.
This fruit is very popular in lung, breast, and colon cancer prevention and treatment. It is believed that carrots contain falcarinol and facarindiol which are essential anti-cancer compounds. These properties act as the bacteria killer that helps eliminate abnormal mass tissue, tumor build-ups, and accumulation of free radicals. Recent studies also proved that those who regularly eat carrots show lower risks of having cancer by 1/3.
Carrots have beta carotene that is converted to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is very important in the overall eye health. Insufficient vitamin A intake can deteriorate photoreceptors thus causing damage in the vision. Regularly eating carrots can help prevent eye-related abnormalities like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration or commonly called as ARMD.
Detoxifies the Body
Carrots are rich in antioxidants that cleanse the body from unwanted cholesterols and toxins that can lead to various disorders and illnesses. The vitamin A content of carrots regulates the liver in removing toxins from the body. This also helps in achieving a healthy liver.
Regulates proper bowel movement
Carrot is also a great source of fiber that improves digestion and manages proper bowel movement. This will avoid developing chronic constipation issues and also promotes weight loss.
Promotes Weight Management
The antioxidants that carrots contain have the power to eliminate the bad types of cholesterol in the body therefore avoiding development of unwanted body fats. Carrots also bear low level of calories having 23 kcal per serving. The fiber content of this fruit also helps in losing weight. Improved digestion and clean digestive tracts eliminates body’s wastes promptly.
Defies effects of Ageing
The antioxidant properties of carrot, particularly the beta-carotene, slow down ageing in the cellular level. Damaged cells are repaired and nourished therefore causing healthier skin, brain function, and overall internal system. This also causes boost in metabolism.
Reduces risks of Heart Diseases
It has been proven that due to the high level of carotenoids found in carrots it is able to reduce risks of heart diseases. This compound is able to regulate normal cholesterol level therefore avoiding unwanted fats development that can lead to heart diseases. Reduced cholesterol levels means avoiding cholesterol oxidation which is the process of producing LDL cholesterol that increases risks of blood clot and high blood pressure.
Its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties boost the immune system causing the body to set up defense against infections and various types of diseases. Eating carrots also causes increased white blood cells production and performance. This increases our systems resistance to its respective abnormalities and irregularities.
Given the Vitamin A and antioxidants that carrots contain, it is able to protect, repair, and nourish the skin. You do not need to worry with sun exposure because eating carrots protects your skin from sun damage and various effects of ageing. Vitamin A is able to reduce the negative effects of ageing to the skin. If you want to avoid having wrinkles, blemishes, uneven skin tone, dryness, acne, and other skin problems, do not forget to eat carrots regularly.
Maintains optimal oral health
Carrots protect the gums and the teeth through keeping it clean and free from different types of bacteria. Just like what toothpaste does, carrots can eliminate plaque and food residue particles in the mouth. It keeps your teeth healthy and clean to avoid oral infections or worst, oral cancer. This fruit also stimulates saliva production that regulates levels of acidity to reduce bacteria build-up in the mouth. Carrots contain minerals that promote healthier, cleaner, and brighter teeth.
The advantages of eating carrots are immeasurable. For your health’s greatest benefits, make sure you pick fresh, and if possible, organic carrots. To help you identify which are fresh and which are not, take a look at their color, outer texture, and firmness. The darker the orange color is the more beta-carotene it contains. Make sure you choose those with smooth outer texture. Pick those that are firm and avoid the rubbery or limp ones. It is also worth knowing that the healthiest way in eating carrots is when raw or quickly steamed. This way, the carrots will retain all its nutrients for the greatest advantage of our body.