Carrots are sweet, very good for the eyes, good for the skin, etc. Knowing the health benefits is a plus and being able to toss it up into something to eat will be amazing, don’t you think?
Carrots have been sought after by many hoping to cure themselves of a wide range of ailments. With benefits ranging from improving skin complexion to curing heart disease, carrots are certainly a nutritional powerhouse that one won’t want to overlook.
Carrots have been extensively studied for many years because of their proposed nutritional benefits. Of particular interest has been beta-carotene, an antioxidant present in carrots that’s responsible for its orange pigment. Beta-carotene is hardly the only responsible nutrient, though – carrots are jam packed full of nutrients, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and different antioxidants. All of these contribute to their health benefits in a number of ways, and we’ll get into more detail about how to maximize these nutrients for the most benefit.
1. Carrots have a great nutritional profile
Carrots are top-notch in terms of the amount of nutrients packed inside of them. They are particularly high in vitamin A – in fact, they’re the second highest provider of vitamin A in the world, second only to sweet potatoes. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the most prominent nutrients in carrots, and a bit of information about what they can do for your body.
- Vitamin A – 113% of your daily recommended intake per 100 grams (D.R.I.)Vitamin A is an important nutrient for maintaining the health of your eyes, keeping your skin healthy, and helping your body maintain blood pressure and immune function.
- Biotin – 20% of your D.R.I.Even at only 20%, carrots are the 8th most significant provider of biotin that you can find. Biotin is particularly useful for maintaining blood sugar and promoting the health of your skin.
- Vitamin K – 18% of your D.R.I.Vitamin K is a crucial nutrient in ensuring that your body maintains its ability to promote blood clotting – the good kind of blood clotting, which helps your body seal wounds.
- Molybdenum – 14% of your D.R.I.Molybdenum is a very important nutrient in that it maintains a proper balance of sulphur in your body. Sulphur is actually extremely important for your body to maintain proper health. Sulphur helps our body produce its own natural antioxidants, and build strong connective tissues.
- Potassium – 11% of your D.R.I.Potassium is a nutrient that’s largely responsible for helping your body maintain a normal, healthy level of blood pressure. In doing this, it also takes a lot of strain off your kidneys and can improve their functionality and health
- Vitamin C – 10% of your D.R.I.While not particularly high in vitamin C, even 10% of your daily need for this vitamin can have a positive impact. Vitamin C acts as its own antioxidant, preventing free radicals from forming. It also helps protect and strengthen the skin, and ensures proper brain function.
- Vitamin B6 – 10% of your D.R.I.Along with the rest of the B complex, vitamin B6 plays many roles in proper support of health. This particular B vitamin helps your body produce red blood cells, helps the nervous system function properly, and helps with the metabolization of carbohydrates.
These aren’t all the nutrients present in carrots, either – just the ones present in the densest concentrations. Carrots also contain notable amounts of manganese, vitamins B1, B2, and B3, pantothenic acid, copper, phosphorous and folate. The combination of these nutrients makes carrots extremely helpful at fighting a number of illnesses and diseases, and reducing the symptoms of diseases that may already be present.
Conclusion: Carrots have a huge variety of nutrients available, and are among the highest sources in the world for vitamin A and biotin. This nutritional combination makes them very effective at fighting a number of illnesses.
2. Carrots are great at helping maintain eye health
Carrots are good at fighting certain types of degenerative eye diseases – in particular, something known as macular degeneration. The macula is an oval-shaped, pigmented area near the center of the eye, and is responsible for the clearest vision a human can see. Thus, macular degeneration is hugely detrimental to a person’s vision.
Beta-carotene, one of the phytonutrient antioxidants that carrots have in high amounts, is known to fight macular degeneration. Study subjects who consumed high amounts of beta-carotene were up to forty percent less likely to develop macular degeneration when compared to a group that consumed minimal amounts of the nutrient.
Furthermore, beta-carotene can be considered a pro-drug for vitamin A. This means that, during metabolization, beta-carotene is turned into vitamin A. Vitamin A is actually a broad term that describes a whole bunch of micronutrients – and carrots contain several of these, which makes them an unbeatable source for this vitamin. Vitamin A fights bad vision by helping improve night vision, which has been shown to occur in greater frequency among people who are deficient in vitamin A.
Carrots contain two potent phytonutrient antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin. These particular carotenoids are selective antioxidants that target the eyes in particular. This further helps reduce macular degeneration or other age-related eye problems that are caused by oxidation. Most types of diseases that occur with age are due, at least in part, to oxidation – this is why antioxidants are so popular. They quite literally make people live longer, by limiting the damage that time naturally causes to the human body.
Conclusion: Carrots are great to help improve eyesight – like the old rumours suggest. It does this with two nutrients – beta-carotene, and vitamin A. Both are known to be effective at improving eyesight, and limiting the effects of age-related eye illness.
3. Carrots have an incredible mix of antioxidants
Carrots have a couple unique methods of fighting disease. One of these methods combination of antioxidants in the vegetable, which work together to have even more powerful of an effect versus diseases and pathogens. Here are some of the most powerful, potent antioxidants you can find in carrots.s
- Vitamin C counts not just as a vitamin, but an antioxidant as well. It has many powerful effects, and can bolster your body’s ability to absorb and use other nutrients.
- Beta-carotene, the pro-drug of vitamin A mentioned earlier.
- Alpha-carotene, a nutrient that functions similar to beta-carotene but is only about half as potent. Still, contained in the same vegetable as beta-carotene, the two work together to bolster the carrot’s incredible vitamin A content.
- Beta-cryptoxanthin is a carotenoid that’s often found in fruit, but is also present in carrots. It’s also present in the human bloodstream and in our tissues, making regular consumption of this nutrient necessary for maintaining strong connective tissues and healthy blood flow. Alp
- Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment. It’s found more densely in tomatoes, but carrots still provide a significant amount of lycopene. It’s known to prevent heart disease, hardening arteries, and various types of cancer. Some claim it also contributes to carrots having a positive effect on vision. It prevents oxidation at a cellular level, in various types of bodily tissue.
- Lutein is another carotenoid nutrient, closely related to beta-carotene. Lutein is sometimes referred to as the eyesight vitamin, because it’s so efficient at helping prevent macular degeneration and other types of eye disorders, including cataracts and retinitis. Additionally, it’s known to help fight against cancer and prevent diabetes from reaching stage 2.
- Zeaxanthin, along with lutein, are two of the only antioxidants that are actually present in the tissue of the eyeball. Deficiency of these two nutrients can lead to eye disease. A healthy balance of these antioxidants also helps to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays produced by the sun, and high enough levels helps improve vision in dim light.
- Hydroxycinnamic acids, including caffeic, coumaric, and ferulic acids, which can help your body maintain proper blood pressure.
- Anthocyanins, including cyanidins and malvidins, which are helpful in restoring and maintaining regular bodily functions.
All these antioxidants work together to create a powerful alliance that battles cancer, protects against deteriorating vision, and can combat a host of other health defects. It’s important to understand exactly which antioxidants do what, so you can cater your diet to include vegetables high in specific antioxidants that target specific illnesses.
Conclusion: Carrots have a very dense antioxidant profile. These antioxidants are some of the most effective at helping maintain proper eyesight – in fact, carrots have both of the only two antioxidants that are present in the tissue of the human eye. This makes them vital for those hoping to maintain their vision for longer.
4. Carrots help your body fight cancer
Carrots have been shown to effectively fight a number of different types of cancer. Regular consumption of carrots was shown to reduce the chances of developing lung cancer by up to three times. Consuming carrots was also linked to decreased chances of rectal cancer. Impressively, they were also shown to reduce the chances of developing leukemia.
Some research suggests that it is the beta-carotene content of carrots that has such a huge effect on cancer. It is shown that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7mg daily to 2.7mg decreased the chances of getting lung cancer by almost 50 percent.
There is ongoing research into carrots and their effects on fighting cancer. Carrots contain many different antioxidants, and each antioxidant targets free radicals in their own way – meaning that there are likely other sources of nutrition present in carrots aside from beta-carotene that helps fight cancer.This means that, with a varying antioxidant profile, these nutrients will target specific tissues or organs and work to dismantle free radicals there. Having an effective defense against cancer means that you must be well-supplied with different antioxidants – this way, you will be able to dismantle free radicals all over the body instead of just in certain places.
Conclusion: Carrots contain quite a few different antioxidants that can work to prevent cancer in different parts of the body. This makes carrots a very valuable resource for those hoping to avoid the disease.
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